Driving down a one lane road in the late winter this year, Sharon noticed a bald eagle nest. It was a surprise because we were looking for another bird.
I took a few photos and resolved to come back and take more; and to see if I could get permission from the property owners to follow the nest through the hatching and fledging of the eaglets. Eventually, I was able to secure that permission.
As a result, I’ve been able to watch the male and female eagle guard the nest against interlopers,
and I witnessed them chasing one away as it tried to encroach into their territory.
I’ve seen the newly hatched eaglets peek out over the edge of the nest, looking at the world for the first time.
And I’ve watched them as they were being fed by their parents.
They’ve grown rapidly, adding more mature feathers to their downy ones.
I’ve seen the parents do aerial acrobatics, which were startling, and bring in fish and water fowl that they’ve hunted from a nearby lake and surrounding woods.
To learn their habits and flight patterns requires standing sometimes for hours waiting for something to happen.
The adults fly to a nearby tree and perch on the same limb, often vocalizing to each other in a strange sounding screech that is almost comical coming from a bird that looks so menacing and regal.
I’ve seen how the first-born has developed more rapidly than its sibling. He/she stands in the nest and flaps her wings as it’s trying to fly.
The second-born is developing more slowly and is much smaller.
I’m waiting for the first eaglet to fledge with something like the anticipation a parent has when its child takes its first step. Until then, I watch with admiration at the sight of new lives being launched and behold the beauty.