Prop, one of Carillon Historical Park’s newest eaglets, took his first flight today, and it was it a doozy.
“It did what it was supposed to do and left the nest intentionally,” Jim Weller, founder of the Eastwood Eagle Watchers, said.
After that things got crazy.
The eaglet flapped its 6-foot wings, left the nest and grabbed onto a tree branch that didn’t hold its weight, according to Weller, who watched the scene with 30 other eagle enthusiasts.
The downward fall caused it to spread its wings and fly 60-feet where it attempted to land in another tree.
“Can you say pinball?” Weller said.
Prop hit the ground, landed on his chest and slid into the grass where he sat stunned for 20 minutes. The eaglet shook it off, got airborn and flew 100 feet at 12-feet high in the air before missing its grip in another tree.
“We were watching and cheering and then, ‘oh no.’”
It all ended well. Prop eventually flew and landed on a stable branch, where he will sit for some time. From there he will call out to his parents, Orv and Willa, who will bring him food, Weller said. “From then on, he will follow Mom.”
Though he doesn’t like to see it, Weller said this type of first flight is normal. “It’s a very successful fledge at this point.”
Prop and his sibling Rudder hatched March 24 and are the third generation of offspring for Orv and Willa, Dayton’s popular pair-bonded eagle couple.