They sort of looked like floppy featherless turkeys or something. They were an odd bunch of chubby birds.
They were first spotted when Kathy Pitts was walking her dog through her Sequim, Washington neighborhood.
Her dog suddenly picked up on a scent and started barking wildly at a bush in her neighbor’s yard. There she saw two small birds. They looked plump like chickens but had downy grey feathers.
But Pitts knew they weren’t chickens. She also happened to know exactly what they were. And exactly who their parents were.
Their parents were actually quite famous in the neighborhood.
They were known as Ricky and Lucy, a bonded pair of bald eagles that had been nesting in their neighborhood since 2013.
The baby eagles that she found which were Ricky and Lucy’s offspring.
Pitts knew that Ricky and Lucy had lost a pair of eaglets in recent years so they wanted to make sure that this set had a fighting chance.
Pitts gave a call to retired wildlife expert Jaye Moore to see what she should do about these two lost cuties. The eaglets were rushed to a veterinary center to make sure that they weren’t injured and were healthy.
The vet assessed that the eaglets were just 3 to 4 weeks old.
That meant they were 2 months too young to have left the nest.
“They’re very slow moving, very aware and alert, but you could tell they were very much out of their element,” wildlife photographer Keith Ross told The Dodo. “Very sweet, very soft, pudgy little things.”
And pudgy is right. These two were sitting straight up and on their bottoms while their little pot bellies stuck straight out.
Their wings looked chubby and were flat by their side.
Since they weren’t supposed to be out of their nest, the eaglets’ rescuers would have to get them back into their nest somehow.
That’s when Casey Balch, the owner of Pacific Northwest Tree Service, offered to help get the job done.
He knew that these were Ricky and Lucy’s babies and cleared his schedule and rushed over to help.
And Ricky and Lucy weren’t far behind. They appeared and watched the humans’ every move from a nearby tree.
Especially when their babies were being handled. Mom refused to take her eyes off of her babies.
“[Balch] ended up climbing up the tree,” Ross said. “And once he got up on the tree he put the chicks in the little green duffle bag and pulled them up and placed them back into the nest. The female eagle was circling the whole time he was up there, watching him.”
Thanks to Balach, the eaglets were safely returned to their nests.
After that, the whole neighborhood made sure to keep an eye on the babies.
“Ricky & Lucy have their babies back! A huge thank you to Pacific Northwest Tree Service owner Casey Balch, and his guy Travis Waddell, and Sara Penhallegon from Center Valley Animal Rescue, and Jaye Moore, retired from the NW Raptor & Wildlife Center here in Sequim,” Ross wrote on Facebook.
“Kathy Pitts who lives across the street, with the help of her dog, found the pair in the bushes in his front yard and called Jaye. Casey climbed up the tree and they hoisted the eaglets up and put them back in the nest. Hopefully they stay in this time! Great job team!”
Ricky and Lucy were overjoyed to have their babies back and have been taking turns feeding them while the other watches out for predators.
“Everyone gets excited when they have chicks,” Ross said. “And then for them to fall out of the nest and for them to get replaced back, it’s pretty special — it’s like the Sequim babies got put back. Hopefully, they stay in this time!”
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