N24 was born on 8 February 2021 at the NE Florida Eagle Nest in St Augustine. He is three weeks old today.
N24’s parents are Samson and Gabrielle. We know that Samson was born on this same nest on 23 December 2013, the son of Romeo and Juliet. Samson fledged on 22 April 2014 when he was 120 days old. Four years later, there was a tragedy at the nest. Samson’s mother was injured by an intruder just days before her eggs were to hatch. She left the area and never returned. Romeo was left to do the work of both the mother and the father. That meant that he not only had to protect the nest but he also had to do the hunting and the feeding. One of the eggs hatched and while Romeo was getting food, the tiny eaglet was taken by a rival female. Forlorn, Romeo left the nest never to return. In 2018 Samson came and took control of the nest and its territory eventually bonding with Gabrielle (Gabby). There is no knowledge of Gabby before she appeared at the nest.
There were originally two eggs in the 2021 clutch of Gabby and Samson but one was unviable. Gabby still incubates the egg on occasion but this is becoming less frequent. Meanwhile, N24 has discovered that ‘the egg’ makes an excellent stool to sit on.
N24 is meeting all of its milestones, growing big and strong. He is adorable. This little one was crawling up to the pantry when it was five days old. He is strong and curious. He plays with the materials on the nest picking them up and doing nestorations like his parents.
And then on 27 February, one of the camera operators noticed something wrong. There appears to be a sore or a blister on the bottom of the beak on the left side and another on the top of the beak on the right where the cere begins.
You can see it if you look carefully. The cam operators are able to zoom in to check on any concerns.
The image below was taken at 4:59 today. You will first notice that N24 has a very large crop. He is eating well and his ps is normal.
If you look at the area of the beak that was raised and red on the 27th, it appears to have changed.
Below is an image taken at 2:08 am on 29 February. N24 is awake and just did a ps and is looking around.
I am not a veterinarian nor am I a wildlife rehabber and will not even speculate, for a second, if this is something minor or serious. However, the American Eagle Federation (AEF) is keeping a very close eye on N24. There are very strict rules for an intervention and it is a very complicated process involving permits from the United States Fish and Wildlife Services. Here is a chart provided by the AEF showing the process:
Let us all hope that our little cutie pie, N24, sleeping with its pinecone and the egg that would have been its sibling, N25, is just fine in the next couple of days and requires no intervention at all. The family is doing so well and it is such a joy to watch them in their every day activities.
Thank you for joining me. Please send positive wishes over to little NE24. He will be three weeks old tomorrow and we want him (or her) to have a long and healthy life.
Thank you to the American Eagle Foundation for the streaming cam at the NEFL Bald Eagle site. I obtained my scaps from their streaming footage.