When EE2 died yesterday at the Estonia White-tailed Eagle nest in Matsula National Park, I thought it was a one off. Yet, the notion that a prey item had been poisoned and that EE2 suffered from secondary rodenticide poisoning lingered in my mind all day.
At 21:00 when EE 1 had a nice crop and was getting ready to go to sleep for the night, I put that thought aside. Sadly, while EE1 is, as I write this, still trying to ‘get up’ but can’t, it is all too clear that these two eaglets died from poison. EE1 took a day longer because it was bigger. What a tragedy for this eagle family. [The alternative is some kind of Avian Flu].
The first two images below were taken at 21:00. EE1 has no trouble sitting up. It has eaten well all day and has a nice crop.
Eve was looking down at EE2. She had moved the little one from the nest cup to the side of the nest and was covering it up when Eerik came in with part of a large prey (some kind of bird with very long black legs – a stork?). That action uncovered the little one.
Over and over again, Eve looked down at that little body. She has to be wondering what happened to these babies so quickly when both were so healthy.
The eagles had a rabbit for prey a few days ago. That might have been the poisoned animal but we will really never know.
While it might be a rodenticide – the cause is not the rodents. The deaths have been caused by humans using designer poisons. They need to be outlawed. If there are rodents, bring in owls and hawks. They can kill more than the costly chemicals who take the lives of birds and domestic pets as well.
EE1 is still trying to get up and live. It is extremely sad for these very devoted parents who will not ever know what happened to their babies. They food they bring to the nest is what they find. Years ago, they used to bring in lots of fish. The prey they catch or the carrion they find doesn’t wear a sign that says poison or filled with lead shot.
I wonder if it would not be prudent to build a pond and stock it with fish by this historic nest in Matsula National Park. White-tail eagles have been breeding here since 1870. And, while I am mentioning it, maybe put in artificial ponds near to the nest of Spilve and another one near Milda. I am certain that funds could be raised – people would support such efforts internationally. I would be more than happy to lead a fund raising campaign if it were possible. The loss of habitat, climate change bringing these heat waves of 26 or more degrees in Estonia when it was only 1 degree C a few days ago are caused by humans, and the list continues. We know that eagles will take fish from fish farms so maybe let’s build some! If the eagles would get the prey there, it would be safe.
Thank you for joining me. It is, unfortunately a very, very sad day and I think I am going to take Thursday off. I will be back on Friday with news from all the nests. Stay safe. Take care everyone.
Thank you to the Eagle Club of Estonia for their streaming cam. That is where I obtained my screen shots.