Courtesy of NASA
By Bob Granath
When a strong thunderstorm recently blew through NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, two eagles landed — falling to the ground along with their nest. Fortunately, ecologists at the spaceport, who take great care to track the birds and protect their habitat, stepped in and rescued the eaglets.
Kennedy is a nesting area for numerous bald eagles. Space center employees and visitors alike enjoy watching their majestic flights overhead.
Besides being the national bird of the United States, bald eagles have been a popular image on a dozen mission patches for American human spaceflights.
“We do a survey of the eagle nesting areas about three times a year,” said Becky Bolt, a wildlife ecologist with InoMedic Health Applications Inc.
“A couple of days after the big storm, we found three eagle nests had been blown to the ground. One had an eaglet standing in the nest. We then spotted another lying on the ground, about 100 yards away.”
InoMedic Health Applications (IHA) is NASA’s Medical and Environmental Support contractor at Kennedy.