Live Minnesota US Senate debate: Al Franken and Mike McFadden Give Now Your support makes MPR News possible.

Photos: Baby eagles get a spring checkup

Environment Jennifer Simonson · ·

1 National Park Service biologists measured and banded an eaglet Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. The bird weighed about 4 1/2 pounds. 
2 Climber Jim Campbell-Spickler removes an eaglet from its nest so that biologists can band and measure it. 
3 Bill Route, right, who is monitoring environmental contaminants in bald eagle nestlings, prepares to measure this bird Tuesday. 
4 Scientists Jim Campbell-Spickler and Bill Route measure an eaglet's beak. They wanted to collect blood and feather samples from the nestling, but at just over four weeks old, it was too young. 
5 Scientists Jim Campbell-Spickler and Bill Route measure an eaglet's foot at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. 
6 National Park Service scientists gently handle an eaglet before returning it to its nest. 
7 The eaglet travels from and back to its nest in a cloth sack. 
8 Climber Jim Campbell-Spickler returns an eaglet to the nest, carrying it in a cloth bag. 
9 This nest along the Mississippi River at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul contained one 4.5-week-old eaglet that weighed almost 6 pounds. 
10 The remains of a duck which the eagles had eaten were found below the nest. The eagles prey is one source of contaminants like mercury, lead, DDT and PCBs. 
11 The National Park Service scientists' toolbox with everything they need to band, measure and collect blood and feather samples from eaglets.