Ron and Rita, a bald eagle couple dwelling in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, had originally bursted onto our live streams in March of 2021. Because of a day in and day out livestream overseen by the Wildlife Rescue of Dade County as a component of the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment, we’ve had the honor of having a very close view into the existence of the well known pair. We’ve been there for all the highs and lows of life in the wild, including the amazing birth of three eaglets! And unfortunately the death of one eaglet a day after it was born.
The livestream proved itself to be a gift to the many watching across the globe as well as the untamed wildlife sweethearts themselves. On Friday, Wildlife Rescue staff saw that eaglet R2 had gotten her foot trapped in a fishing line that probably came connected to a fish Ron and Rita had brought into the home for supper.
Ron Magill, wildlife conservationist, photographer, and Zoo Miami’s communications director stated, “This was preventing her from being able to fledge and had the potential of causing serious injury or even death.”
They decided that an emergency intervention was the best thing to do. So they got a fire truck so that they could reach the nest that was 85 feet in the air. Their goal was to free the eaglet from the fishing line and get it all out of the nest so that the other eaglets do not get caught in it. When they got there, They scared eaglet R2 and she took flight. The force from her taking flight broke the fishing line.
It was a gift they could have only dreamed of.
Magill said, “It was her first flight from the nest, and it was beautiful.”
With R2 gone, the group attempted to eliminate the leftover line from the home. Soon thereafter, teams found that while the strength of R2’s flight broke the line tying her to the home, a critical part of the line stayed folded over her foot. Luckily, she was found in a nearby yard, and natural life expert Brown had the option to catch her with a net, eliminate the line from her foot, and screen her short-term for any wounds. Brown expressed that at only three months old, R2 is perhaps one of the biggest eagles he’s ever dealt with.
On Sunday, eaglet R2 successfully returned to her family in the nest.