As I sit down to share the story of what happened today, I am struck by how surreal it seems. I was not feeling well, but knew that Dad had not been seen since yesterday. A few photographers reported that Dad might be having health issues. We live close to the nest so I bundled up and got in my car and checked the usual local spots. I spotted Mom but not Dad. As I was giving up and heading home, I decided to look in the small pond below the nest. It was chilly and had started to drizzle. I spotted a white head on the far bank of the pond. I grabbed my camera from the car and zoomed in. It was Dad!!! He was standing very still in the water. The ducks and geese were swimming close to him and he didn't move at all.
I grabbed my phone and called my husband Robert Schwartz. He called Bobby Horvath right away. As some of you may know Bobby Horvath and Cathy St. Pierre run a wildlife rescue called WINORR (Wildlife in need of Rescue and Rehabilitation). Bobby got in his car right away and headed over to Centerport. Rob then called Christine Carrion who is our good friend and has spent countless hours editing and creating our Bald Eagles of Centerport calendar. She is also one of the most hard working and caring people we know. We formulated a plan.
Bill Bennek graciously allowed Bobby, Rob, and Christine onto his property so that they could have access to the eagle. Bobby got right to work.
Dad was startled by Bobby and "jumped" to the middle of the pond. He was too weak to swim so he floated on top of the water.
Bobby made his way to the middle of the muddy pond and was able to get a net around Dad.
How many people do you know that will go into a cold, muddy pond on a winter day to rescue an animal? But now we were worried about Bobby Horvath and the Eagle.
Although it was difficult to get out of the water, Bobby persevered. By this time the "Centerport Fire Department" has arrived to assist. They were amazing and professional.
Bobby made it to his feet, and took Dad to safety.
Dad was then transported directly to Cathy St. Pierre who provided first aid. She warmed him and gave him antibiotics, pain medication, and fluids. We will always be grateful to both Cathy and Bobby. We are all praying for Dad's speedy recovery.