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Young eagles are falling from their nests due to oppressive heatwave

By Rachel Wulff

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    EL DORADO HILLS, California (KOVR) — This year’s heat is already taking its toll on Mother Nature.

As temperatures go up, birds come down.

“He just got in,” said Ross Garner as he watched from his kitchen window.

A young golden eagle hit the pool at this El Dorado Hills home to beat the heat.

“He was really panting and you could tell he was really overheating and in distress,” Garner said.

Garner has seen his share of bobcats and wild turkeys, but never an eagle in his pool.

“The first time we saw him was Saturday on the backdrop,” Garner said.

The raptor was in the pool all weekend long, bathing in the shallow end. Garner kept his distance, not wanting to frighten the bird.

“He had to [have] at least a six-foot wingspan,” Garner said. “And to find out he was only three months old was just incredible.”

Wildlife experts say triple-digit temperatures are forcing baby eagles and hawks from their nests.

“In the past three days we’ve taken in 53 raptors, which is just unheard of. We get 200-250 a year,” said Debbie Duvall, who works for the Wildlife Care Association.

The non-profit cares for injured or orphaned birds, and there are many now.

“They get so hot up there in the trees,” Duvall said. “And with four in a nest, the body heat alone, they start dropping out – or they try to move away to get to a cooler spot and then they fall out.”

Wildlife experts say birds have an undeveloped sense of smell, so it’s ok to pick them up and return them to the nest if possible.

“That’s always the best thing because their natural mom is always the best mom rather than us trying to intervene,” said Duvall.

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