Amazing Survival Of Baby Golden Eagle Burned In Utah Wildfire

This baby golden eagle survived the impossible!

His incredible story began June 1, when Kent Keller, a volunteer who documents eagles, placed a band on the bird in its nest at Lake Mountain, near Salt Lake City.

Three weeks later, the Dump Fire erupted, scorching more than 5,500 acres south of Salt Lake City and west of Utah Lake.

Keller returned in late June to look for the nest, built on the edge of the cliff, thinking he would recover the band from a deceased animal. The nest was gone, but to his astonishment, Keller spotted legs and talons near a scorched juniper below.

The baby eagle was still alive, although all of his feathers, even on his head, were charred. He also suffered burns to the feet and around his beak.

From CNN:

“He had enough courage to jump from that nest and try to save himself anyway,” said Keller, 56, who describes himself as an amateur ornithologist. “He is a real fighter.”

The fall was about 25 feet, and the eagle probably walked back to the base of the cliff after rolling another 100 feet, said Keller.

The bird remained in the area for several days while Keller, who is authorized to band raptors, sought permission from federal and state authorities to obtain care for him.

With permission granted, the baby eagle was taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden, where it is adding to its shrunken five pound frame and regaining the ferocity that is the species hallmark.

The staff there have dubbed the survivor “Phoenix” – a reference to the mythical creature that is reborn from the ashes.

The tales of tragedy surrounding the recent wildfires in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, seem unending and now there may be more tragedy as parts of Colorado have received flash flood warnings, due to heavy rainstorms for the past five days.

So it seemed important to share this uplifting story of a feisty golden eagle, with a very strong survival instinct. Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: screenshot from KTSU


Waltraud U.
Waltraud U5 years ago


Stella Nobrega-Garcia

Thank you for the article.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

It should be noted these fire epidemics are due to dry forests caused by global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions from guess what? as usual, evil mankind.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch5 years ago

Aint nature grand!

Carolanne Powell
C Powell5 years ago

What a brave "Phoenix" he is Xx

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan5 years ago

I hope he recovers quickly.

Waheeda Smith
Waheeda E5 years ago

What an amazing story. Go Phoenix!

Georgia Armstrong
Georgia a5 years ago

I watched the Decorah eagle site from March when the eaglets began to hatch until after they began to fledge. It was with horror a couple of weeks ago I learned that D12, the firstborn, had been electrocuted after landing on a power pole (which has now been fixed and all the others checked to make sure they're ok). It was almost like losing a bird I had helped raise. I was on my computer many, many times every day checking on them along with falcons in England and ospreys in New Jersey. I am so glad, happy this eagle has survived and have read on another site he is already using his talons to fend off his caregivers. They said he wasn't the "least bit thankful". Good for you Phoenix, you go boy!!! Long life to you.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

I'm glad that the baby eagle survived.

Carrie Anne Brown

glad the eagle survived thanks for sharing :)