One of two baby bald eagles that fell about 60 feet from a Dunedin tree last week has died.
Their nest, designated Pinellas Nest No. 20, collapsed April 4 due to age and wear, sending the still-flightless 8-week-old chick tumbling to the ground. Its sibling fell the next day.
"It was a little male eaglet that came down when the nest came down (that died). He suffered from a leg fracture," said Dianna Flynt, the rehabilitation supervisor at the Audubon Society Birds of Prey Sanctuary in Maitland, where the bird was given medical care.
The bird was euthanized after it wasn't healing, and an additional fracture was discovered after more X-rays were taken.
"The bird wasn't progressing. The head of that leg bone fractured off. We consulted two of our veterinarians. There's no surgical procedure that could do anything for that leg. It could not survive like that, in the wild or in captivity," Flynt said.
The nest where the bird fell came to be known as "Hoover's nest" in February after a days-old orphan eaglet named after orphaned President Herbert Hoover was placed in the nest by the Audubon Society.
Arno Beken, who lives in the house below the 65-foot pine where the nest used to be, said he suspected that the recently deceased bird is not Hoover. Hoover is several days older than the two chicks he was placed with and therefore larger, Beken said.
The second bird that fell from the nest is doing better, Flynt said. It is beginning to fly and may be returned home as early as next week.
"That eaglet is starting to do little flights back and forth. Tomorrow, we'll be moving him to the larger enclosure," Flynt said.
The third sibling in the nest also began to fledge this week, but took a dive and couldn't quite make it back into the remnants of the nest. Local eagle watchers say it is trying to fly back up and is resting in smaller trees.
Though the nest has lost one of its chicks, the Audubon Society is hopeful that at least the survivors might be brought together once again.