For the second time in the past month, a healthy bald eagle chick hatched on Santa Cruz Island last week. Until this spring’s baby boom, it had been more than 50 years since bald eagles successfully hatched babies without human aid on the Channel Islands. Last week’s hatching was doubly remarkable because it occurred in a ground nest, making it the second known instance in the country in which bald eagles nested on the ground rather than in the trees or on cliffs. According to park officials, the baby and its parents will be monitored closely in the coming weeks, with the baby bird scheduled to get tagged with a satellite transmitter shortly before it begins to fly in approximately two months. The nest was discovered by the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, a multi-agency group committed to helping the bald eagle population reestablish itself in the face of severe DDT poisonings in the mid 20th century.

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