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Eagle eyed Forestry Corp saves chick

A Wedge-tailed eagle chick has been nursed back to health by a local vet and WIRES volunteers and released back into its nest by volunteer tree climbers, after local Forestry Corporation of NSW staff rescued the bird from the jaws of a goanna in Nadgee State Forest. Source: Timberbiz

Forestry Corporation’s Eden-based senior field ecologist Peter Kambouris said local volunteers came together to ensure the chick returned to its nest safe and well following its brush with death.

“We identified a Wedge-tailed eagle nest during an ecology survey in Nadgee State Forest and have monitored it over the past few months while the chick has hatched and grown,” said Mr Kambouris.

“While Forestry Corporation staff were in the area recently, they heard a commotion around the nest. When they investigated, they found a goanna had scaled the 35-metre tall tree to reach the nest. As the chick was still too young to fly, it was chased by the goanna out of the nest and fell to the ground below.

“Despite the adult eagles dive bombing the goanna through the forest canopy, it scaled down the tree and latched onto the chick on the ground. Local Forestry staff Troy Burdett and Adam Latta, who were working nearby, stepped in and rescued it before it was killed.”

The chick sustained some injuries from the attack, so our team brought it back to the Eden Vet Clinic where it was given stitches and treated with antibiotics.

Following overnight observations at the clinic, the chick was passed on to Kerry McKenzie, local WIRES bird coordinator, to continue administering antibiotics and allow the chick to recuperate from the ordeal under her care.

Charlie Neilsen and Dillon Rae, professional tree climbers from Snowy Mountains Tree Services, volunteered to scale the 35 metre tree to return the chick to the safety of its nest where it is now being cared for by its parents once again.

The Forestry Corporation will continue monitoring the Wedge-tailed eagle family until the chick has fledged and safely left the nest. This will be within weeks, at which point the parents will also leave the nest for the season and return to roaming across their large home range.