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 Ideas for Helping the Sidney Eaglet
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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:20 PM EDT (Read 7814 times)  
JudyB

This thread is a place where we can discuss how to safely untangle eaglet #1/Donald/Flyer from whatever she's caught up in.

For those who have not been following this situation, it looks as if there is some sort of fishing line or something of that nature wrapped around one of the toes on her right foot. She was caught briefly on Friday, May 13, and apparently freed herself, but was observed to be caught again Saturday afternoon, May 14th. She has not been able to pull herself free from whatever it is, and it appears to be fastened to the side of the nest, keeping her near the left side of the nest, as seen on the close-up cam. She has been fed and has been seen to make poop shots. She has also been preening, which is more likely to happen when a bird is relaxed than when it's stressed. She appears to be standing on both feet, and has reached up with the affected right foot to scratch her head. She also seems to be able to get farther away from the edge of the nest than she could yesterday. There is still a chance that her continuing efforts to break free will wear down the line so it breaks, but we are hoping that a way can be found for someone to get to the nest and remove the line (and to the extend possible remove any other line loose in the nest) and assess her general health.

This thread is being set up so we can brainstorm ways to free her from the entangling line, and also to separate out the discussion about freeing her so the primary Discussion thread can focus on what's happening in the nest.

We welcome all ideas - and it's likely to be the ones that begin "this may sound a bit silly, but...." that will be the most help. If there was any simple, conventional way of doing this, it would have been done by now.

I know this is a very emotional issue, and all of us wish that a way had been found to untangle her before now. Please keep in mind that we are all doing everything we can - and that the forum rules as well as general courtesy say that it's not appropriate to question the motives of another member. If you feel someone is posting inappropriately, please PM one of the admins - jkr, Pat B or me - with a link to the post.

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments!

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:22 PM EDT  
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As a bit of background, here's the great picture harrymilt posted on May 16 (link) - it clicks a lot bigger.

Click on image to download

And here's what Harry had to say about the nest tree:

Quote by: harrymilt


Hi: I am posting a couple of photos of the nest in regard to someone climbing the tree. Getting up to the nest is somewhat possible, although there are dozens of branches below it; all of them very brittle. Many of these would have to be broken off to ascend the tree.The deal breaker is climbing out and up onto the nest. These branches are barely holding the nest as it is. Pulling on them to climb up will surely break them off.
This could lead to the failure of the nest. Not good. If one studies the remaining branches, you will see that all their tips are broken off, which tells you they are very brittle.
Running a zip line is impossible, as the surrounding healthy trees are behind the nest. This does not allow egress onto the nest. Otherwise this would be a viable option.
The crane weighs 65 tons, which is the weight of 32 good sized cars. All of this weight sits on a few tires, which equals a huge weight per tire. It is verging on the impossible to put down enough pads to hold this weight. It would take many truckloads.
I think that we are left with the wee bird coming free. It is now being fed thanks to the food fairies loading up the salmon. Remembering that the parents feed upon their reliance on instinct, the most agressive birds get fed first. But with a surplus they will then feed the 3rd one.
The young birds now have enough feathers to thermo regulate their body temperature. It will surely get warmer soon. I think the wee bird will come free perhaps with some pecking and pulling. FROM ONE OF ANNA'S PHOTOS, IT ALMOST LOOKED LIKE A VINE HAD CAUGHT THE FOOT, NOT FISHING LINE. If this is the case, then the vine could be shredded over time, as was the case with Tiny. It may take a few days but I am sure it will happen. The best Harry.



Here are a couple of other pictures of the nest and the surrounding area. The first is from sandra gee and the second was extracted by gemini from the video of David's trip to the nest by helicopter with the Channel 9 news team

Click on image to download

Click on image to download

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:24 PM EDT  
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Here's a picture of the 65-ton crane that David has used to work on the cam in the past - the picture was taken by harrymilt last summer when the cam was being cleaned and the new wide-angle cam installed.



And here's a picture of David beside the nest, to put things in perspective - also by harrymilt.



These pictures are from Sidney Cam Cleaning 2010 if anyone wants to see more of them.

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:25 PM EDT  
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This post reserved in case anything else comes up that we want on the first page

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:48 PM EDT  
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This is the first group of suggestions that was sent to me.

1) from BarbDillie: "Hi Judy, I live in the USA and am a retired Fire Rescue personel. I have had training in high elevation rescue. I like to suggest using a Zip line between the trees to get to the nest. Incase you are unfamiliar with a Zip line it is a line strung between two secured objects that allow the rescuer to "slide" if you will or move across the line . The person on the line can control the speed of the zip and also he/she can stop on a dime. This line can be strung at most lengths of 100 or more feet. You can find those who are trained for this type of rescue in the Fire Service and or the National Guard (military). If you mention a Zip line to these agencies they will know what it is! Trust~! God Bless you and all those who are trying to help this little baby. My prayers are with you all and our little guy and his family.~ Barb~"

2) from Kattie: "My son runs Cranes for a living. He said they use rig mats here when we have heavy rains and mud. The rig mats are made out of large 16 x 16 inch timbers (like 4x 4 landscape timber, but much wider). Two of the 16 by 16 timbers are bolted togther and laid crosswise of the road, they need to extend 2 feet wider than the crane. The crane is then driven acoss a series of this timbers. My son said the Crane operator there should be able to call around to other crane operations and they should be able to inform him of someone that has some already made up. Maybe a hope."

3) from Mimi: "Just throwing this out here for what it's worth, which may be very little, but maybe we're thinking BIG when we need to be thinking small. Would it be possible to drive to the site in a vehicle that could handle the mud like a 4 wheel drive truck and then mount on its bed a structure of telescoping sections of conduit large enough for a small camera and a simple, robotic arm? I know they have cameras mounted on a sewer snake because I had my plumbing drains examined by one to check for leaks. It went all of the way from my house to the alley, which is quite a distance. If the camera can see where Flyer is caught, a small surgical instrument could clip the twine and free the eaglet. Surgeons do this all of the time during surgical operations. The rub may come in getting the snake to climb vertically and not horizontally."

4) from litrhody: "How about if you rig something with a pulley and pull someone up to the nest."

5) from Bonnie: "Judy I know they are looking for ways to do this rescue safely and cheapest as possible I know funds are not very high but if the home owner would allow this it would work I don't know how much this is up there but if they can get someone to lay down Crushed lime stone it will help absorb the water and also create a concrete like base for the crane to drive on( If you have never lived in the country you wouldn't know that it did that I personal didn't know it till I moved to the country and dad told me to do that for my drive cause water will make it act like concrete and he is a concrete man} .. I know where i live its like 8 dollars a ton which is very cheap also I know sand is a good base and that is also very inexpensive at least where i live that is 2 dollars a ton so there is options to consider if the home owner would allow something like this."

6) from SEP: "Hi Judy, re: the fire truck suggestion - you may also want to check out the telescopic aerial platforms on some fire trucks. These truck types are really high and articulate: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ent ... _apparatus ... and see if they use a similar mat as Kattie described [see #2 above]"

7) from COjala: "Could a zip line between two healthy nearby trees be used to access the nest briefly to free the little eaglet? I've been on a zip line that was hundreds of feet long, so the trees don't necessarily need to be super close by."

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:49 PM EDT  
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Second group of suggestions

1) Vincent1188 sent several PMs with lists of rental places for telescoping booms and such: "Good Morning. here is i what looked up:
maker of equipment that is needed - http://www.genieindustries.com/sb-series/index.asp
dealerships in British Columbia - http://www.genieindustries.com/dealer/d ... ge=1&fi=BC
and one in Victoria,BC - http://www.ctidirectory.com/search/comp ... any=163428
if they go by the name rental,i would think that's what they do rent that equipment and seems to be big company
if they do not have a telescopic beam on the island they can get one from Vancouver
here is another company in Vancouver that has what is need -
http://www.rentcharlie.com/rental/710095 (link may be wrong)

now i concentrated on what Victoria BC has to offer
http://www.westernone.ca/aboutus/locations_contactus
http://www.westernone.ca/aerial_lifts/i ... ift_135ft/
http://www.leavittrentals.com/straight. ... entals.asp
http://www.leavittrentals.com/locations.canada.asp
and this on in Vancouver
http://hiperhighreach.com/index.php/Contact.html"

2) Liberty1998 passed on a message for someone who was posting on facebook: "Sevgi Gücüm says....
I can not find a way to send email to JudyB. She wants suggestions. I suggest laying down a layer of hard pebbles to dry up the land underneath the tree. Vehicles can approach then..Highway department can help maybe..please can someone deliver this suggestion to her if you can???"

3) This is from an email - not sure of the person's username: "I am wondering if you've considered a climber to reach the eagles' nest? I would bet that there are climbers on the island who still have the ability to climb power poles and trees the old way using spikes and safety harnesses for climbing. I am thinking that it would not be necessary to use heavy equipment on the soggy ground, but rather a man or woman who was either an experienced tree trimmer or power company worker. They would have the nerve and the skill to complete a climbing task like this and could be coached on how to handle the eaglets. I truly hope you are able to save this little eaglet. It was apparently not nature that got her in trouble, but something that man left that has now snared her."

4) From SEP: "How about asking the military to get involved re: heavy equipment? Also, suggest contacting the CBC since they have a link to the webcams, asking them to air details of the eaglets' situation in a call for help: Toll-free phone (Canada only): 1-866-306-4636 Best wishes to our feathered friends and to you all."

5) From Gramps2005: "I don't know if this has been suggested but, my husband watches swamp logger on tv all the time. I feel they get in and do the logging somehow, wouldn't something like that work in this situation. It's just so hard to watch this poor baby and know he/she may die an agonizing death from losing circulation in that leg to maybe starving to death. I hope and pray that something can be done before it is too late."

6) From OspreyGal: "I live in Washington State and have basically the same weather here as in Sidney. My husband is a heavy equipment operator and has worked on BIG construction sites since 1977. My point is, when I asked him about this last night, he said they frequently use steel plates under equipment when they are on soggy, unstable ground. What they do is lay filter cloth down, then the crane itself puts the steel plates down as it trekks along the ground. These plates are HUGE (20+ feet). You put one down (or a few), drive over them, retrieve the ones behind you and place them in front again, repeat, repeat, until you get where you need to be."

7) From BhamBirder: "Have you considered contacting the real CIRCUS? Maybe even Cirque du Soleil with its elaborate rigging and lots of money could help. Could Aerialist and High-Wire folks with their support teams make a difference? Could Tumblers who build human pyramids or climb up tall shoulder-supported poles contribute a solution? These folks make a living doing wild and crazy stunts high above the ground.......you might be surprised at what could be possible !!!!!!!!!!"

8) From DLT88: "I just spoke to my co-worker who is an expert at flying helium balloons. He told me THIS CAN BE DONE with a helium cluster. I don't think they allow urls here so just Google "cluster balloons", and you will see what it looks like. Someone can go up like that and stay steady enough at the height of the next to quickly to what needs to be done -- cutting the fishing line off Flyer's foot. It can also be done with a regular helium balloon but the noise would scare the eagles, he said. The cluster balloon is much quieter. Anyway, that's what I found out."
Click on image to download

9) From BhamBirder: "Thinking about the Circus again..... The elephants are tethered and used to raise the tent poles into place all the time.....
I am not sure if the land owner would be really keen about a bunch of elephants slushing thru the mire to the tree but....... carry in the pieces for the aluminum towers used by cellphone, power company, tv stations, etc, (readily available) and construct onsite....these towers are relatively light, I think.
use the elephants to raise the structure into the air beside the nest..... someone can then climb the tower to free the bird......safely. Maybe."

10) Mentioned earlier, but not on either of these big lists: a hot air balloon tethered in three places so it can be raised to the right height away from the nest, then pulled closer. I'm guessing it may need some modifications to the basket so the balloon itself is above the upper branches - but don't know much about the options.

11) Mentioned earlier, but not on either list: scaffolding, either built near the tree or built elsewhere and flown in (how tall was the tower at Chehalis?).

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 01:49 PM EDT  
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Third group of suggestions:

1) Vincent1188 sent me more info on telescopic boom lifts, which appear to come in four-wheel-drive models
http://www.westernone.ca/aerial_lifts/i ... lift_135ft - 22.5 tons, platform height 135 feet, only holds 500 lbs; they also have a model that goes up to 150 feet
http://www.leavittrentals.com/straight. ... entals.asp - no clue on weight, platform height 135 feet, holds 1000 lbs
These seem to weigh quite a bit less than the crane, and some of them look as if they have good ground clearance
Click on image to download

2) From Patchi: "Contact BC Hydro and see if a power pole could be installed next to the tree and then someone could climb it & untangle Flyer. It could also be used in future to clean & maintain the camera when needed or for future rescues."

3) From liberty1998: "Did anyone mention lightweight scaffolding which could be erected around the tree and a "climber" could use this to access the nest? This would not cause damage to the property and if it's the proper lightweight stuff could be assembled onsite and pulled upright."

4) From DJ29: "I would like to make a suggestion regarding freeing Flyer. I was wondering if an arborist could "rig up" a pruner with a telescoping handle and attach a fiber-optic camera to the top (like an “endoscope” to view the cutting edge of the tool), then maybe climb an adjacent tree and use the pruner to cut Flyer free from the "twine". I think it might be less invasive than a human bothering the nest. I was told to send this to you. Hope it helps."

5) From DLT88 - update on cluster balloon suggestion - there's someone in Calgary who does this.

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By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, May 18 2011 @ 03:47 PM EDT  
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Fourth Group of Suggestions:

1) From Mimi: "Again a passing thought--If drying out the ground is the vital issue, is there any way to remove standing water artificially that wouldn't damage the stability of the nest tree? I have a very quiet sump pump in my garage basement that does this in the rainy season and will remove water as long as it has 1/4 inch in which to work. An electric pump would be quieter than gasoline. This would require a line to it, and I don't know if it's possible to run one from the near-by business but it seems at least feasible to me. I also don't know if removing water quickly would destabilize the nest tree. In my part of the world, I've seen mighty oaks fall over in a wet season from just a little wind."

2) From LizW: "Mainly that I was intrigued by the "cluster balloon" idea someone floated -- no pun intended -- yesterday. At first it seemed so wacky, way outside the box, that it almost made me laugh. But I looked them up and it actually seems to possibly be feasible. No heavy equipment required, little noise, and few people. And to the guys who do this recreationally -- some of them go for insane free flight records in the tens of thousands of feet -- a 100-foot tethered ascent/descent would seem like nothing, just a walk in the park.
I can see the balloons being an issue to some extent, although it doesn't require too many to lift one person just to 100 feet, a whole lot less mass than a hot-air balloon, for instance. Assuming the line linking the person and his balloons is adjustable, they could be floated way above the tree. Probably requires a winch of some kind to raise and lower, but it should be small enough to mount on a 4-wheel ATV that could handle the swamp around the tree, especially if it dries out a bit. Like a hot-air balloon it can only be flown with little or no breeze, have to wait for a calm day. I imagine it would be ideal to raise the person to nest height and then move in close enough, but the terrain around the tree may not permit that. Maybe putting a second line to the person and pulling them over to the nest by hand would work.
Still, it seems like it couldn't hurt to put out feelers to the ballooning community and see what the experts in that field have to say about it. I would bet if it's feasible that they would be absolutely stoked to assist in a wildlife rescue, and there would not be a shortage of volunteers to travel to Sidney with their equipment."

3) From urdognu: "ANOTHER BRAINSTORM FOR FLYER RESCUE... ELECTRIC TOWER (THEY HAVE 4 VERY TALL POLES) ???"

4) From urdognu, possibly forwarding for DJ29: "The idea here is that I have heard a few good ideas, and I was thinking that if you could combine a few of these ideas together, you might find a potential solution. Please pardon my limited graphic art abilities for the attached drawing.
My concept would be a combination of crane, scaffolding, zip line and cable.
If a crane could get within a few hundred feet of the nest (maybe even a few hundred yards depending on the elevations and cable length available), you could string the cable from the crane truck to a scaffolding that was erected opposite the nest tree. By raising the cable on to the scaffolding and anchoring to a hard point or tree trunk, you might gain enough altitude to allow the cable to be stretched from the scaffold to the crane and raise it right under the nest. By building the scaffold around a strong live tree, that would allow you security in case it was to tip over and it would also allow you to apply additional anchors to the live tree to support the scaffold. The scaffold might even be built taller than the live tree and high enough to provide a pivot point for a cable that was stretched from the crane.
You would have enough control to slowly tighten the cable raising it to the level of the nest without interfering with the dead tree or nest. Once the cable is close enough to the nest one rescue person could "zip" along the wire and brake right under the nest and free the eaglet.
I'm not sure if any of this is possible, but if we throw enough ideas out there something (or a combination of ideas) might do the trick."
Click on image to download

5) Via email so I'm not sure of the user name: "Someone posted this comment/idea to help flyer..on the CTV BC News. They said: I suggest the utility company mount a pole next to the fragile tree that Flyer is in.
A utility pole drilling truck can dig the hole, no need for a truck pour concrete lime whatever deep enough and strong abled people can carry the pole to the area since it is marshy there. Climb the pole, help Flyer. Utility companies climb poles all day long. Has it been looked into? A pole placed beside the tree? The nest is how big around? Place the pole 3' or 4' out, at the side the eaglet is stuck at. Granted has to be a very very long utility pole.. Maybe a lodgepole pine long.. Just trying to help."

6) From LizzieK: "To get to the nest, how about building a tripod of 3 poles. With a triangular base it would be more stable than one pole. It could be stabilized with cross timbers. Two people could climb up if needed. I'm not sure utility poles are tall enough but tall pine timbers would be."

7) Via email: "In Texas I have seen helicopters hover over tall power lines with a man in a seat fixing the lines-just a thought"

8) From LizW: "In case it was not PM'd to you, I believe it was DLT88 who earlier today mentioned having a coworker that is actually a balloonist and discussing the situation with them, and they were talking about how cluster balloons could indeed be used and only need to be anchored to something for stabilization. I have no idea where DLT88 is located but the balloonist community has to be a fairly tight-knit group, and it is possible this coworker knows people closer to the nest site even if they are not.
As far as the expense involved, the little I saw about it online suggested the biggest expense is for helium to fill the balloons. Of course they need a lot of helium, maybe as much as $1,000 worth, for the high-altitude, long distance flights, but I can't imagine needing so much for a simple 100-foot ascent. The balloons themselves would be tethered and presumably could be retrieved, unless they became tangled with a branch and had to be cut loose."

9) Via email: "In light of the recent news that a helicopter was going to be employed in the most recent rescue attempt for Flyer, this idea might not be so far off... North Shore Rescue has an aerial rescue team that recently was in the news for rescuing a dog (http://tinyurl.com/6ydm4g4). Perhaps they could be contacted for help in this case. Their website is: http://www.northshorerescue.com. Thanks for your time in taking everybody's suggestions, it is greatly appreciated!!"

[I have not thanked you all for your suggestions - and I apologize for that! If you had other questions or comments included in what you sent me, I'll try to get to those tomorrow. Thanks for your patience! ~JudyB]

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