Bald eaglet turns up dead in 4-year-old Metairie nest

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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METAIRIE (WVUE) - For four years now Metairie residents have been observing and enjoying a productive eagles nest right in the heart of East Jefferson. But many are saddened by the recent discovery of a dead eaglet in the massive nest.

The large nest has produced five eaglets in four years, but there have been difficulties.

“In the first year crows ate the eggs and they came back,” said neighbor Coleen Perilloux Landry, who has taken hundreds of pictures of the nest.

A fish hook snagged another Eagle and another appeared to have trouble learning how to fly.

“One of them during fledging hit a tree and ended up out in the main part of the street,” said PJ Hahn, who actively looks after the eagles.

That eagle was rehabbed at LSU and returned to the nest.

But this year has been especially tough.

“Along came Hurricane Zeta and totally destroyed the nest,” said Landry.

The eagles quickly rebuilt, and in February successfully hatched just one egg, but last week, neighbor Susan Miron saw something strange.

“I said I don’t know I’ve just been seeing her laying in the nest, it looks like she’s not alive,” said Miron.

She called environmental consultant PJ Hahn, who got in a lift truck to observe and recover the dead eaglet, which had taken up flying just two weeks before.

“It was bleeding from the mouth when I first got up there,” said Hahn.

It was a traumatic event for the eaglets mother, who still returns to the nest.

“The mama came back up calling and calling, it was heartbreaking,” said Miron.

Hahn contacted US Fish and wildlife, which is now investigating what happened to the dead bird.

US Fish and Wildlife says the eagle has been sent to one of its labs in Oregon for a necropsy, to try and determine what killed and it could take several weeks.

“I’m anxious to know what happened to this little bird,” said Landry.

Neighbors are protective of this nest and they hope no one intentionally hurt the young eagle, estimated to be about three-months-old.

They now eagerly await the results of the necropsy.

The eagle parents are still on the nest, but will be migrating north, in the next couple of weeks. They are expected to return again next year, to hopefully lay more eggs.

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