Fledglings All!

FledglingsALLMy husband and I recently discovered a Bald Eagle’s nest on a visit to check out some hiking trails. Well, didn’t actually discover it – it has been there and been monitored, celebrated, and photographed for several years now. We had noted signs posted at the park’s entrance asking hikers to jot down any sightings of bald eagles and/or osprey spotted while hiking. Cool, I thought – but, realistically, what are the odds of seeing a bald eagle and its nest? As we walked, the bam-bam-bam of the ‘next door’ rifle range negated any peace and quiet of a nature hike. Well, there goes any chance of seeing bald eagles I mused – they certainly aren’t going to nest in an area with guns being fired.

We  wove in and out of a rather large group of hikers (?) set up on the trail with tripods and spotting scopes etc. We paid them very little mind other than to think they must be hopeful bird watchers who obviously were not realists! On our way out of the park, we happened upon a man with some ‘taxidermed’ eagles and osprey in the back of his open van. Again, I made an assumption thinking probably part of the field trip of fledgling-bird watchers back there on the trail. I, of course, have to strike up a conversation when confronted with such a unique opportunity! Steve was wonderfully knowledgeable about eagles and osprey and the history of the eagles and osprey that reside right there in the park where we had just hiked. In fact, we had walked right past the Osprey tower with adults and chicks in the nest. And those optimistic bird watchers that we so casually dismissed were looking at an eagles nest with an eaglet in the nest!!! Holey Moley!

Real. Live. Actual. In the wild. Bald Eagles!!!

I may be of an advanced age, but I have never seen a bald eagle in the wild before. I was so geeked about it! While standing there absorbing all this information, we were joined by a local bird expert and a local photographer who is the ‘official’ photographer for these eagles. Plans were set to return in the evening (optimal viewing time) with some binoculars and scopes of our own.

Let me just say that I have returned almost every other day since our ‘discovery’ to check on this soon-to-be fledgling eaglet. I don’t want to miss a single thing! I can hardly bear the thought of his/her taking that first fledgling flight without my being there to witness. I have seen him/her doing its ‘wing-ercizing’ (flapping very impressive baby wings and hopping around). I have seen an adult return to the nest with dinner to share with the eaglet (did you know eagles do not regurgitate food into their little one’s mouths, not even when they are new hatchlings?) and then soar back out of the nest.

I feel like a fledgling in a way.

Like a school kid again, about to embark on a learning journey about something so cool that I want to tell the whole world about it! I have this new information, this new skill, this new urge to discover more about this eagle family that I have somehow become quite vested in.

I love the feeling!

This is just one example of things we ‘pass by’ each day unaware of the opportunities missed by our ‘blinders-on-trek’ through our days. We should all continually look for those fledgling opportunities out there waiting to be embraced. Discover a new interest, a new challenge, or a different way of doing something that energizes us and makes us ask question after question after question and seek information from as many sources as we can imagine.

Let’s go be fledglings! It just might make you feel lighter than air!

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14 comments

  1. Lucky you! I know how you feel though, but for me it was reindeer, not birds. nose to nose with a real reindeer, touching it’s coat and feeding it carrots. Brilliant feeling. And I was 50 something!

  2. I am shocked that you did not report the man in the van with stuffed eagles in it. IT IS A FEDERAL OFFENCE TO SHOOT/KILL A BALD EAGLE. He should’ve been reported to park rangers.

    1. Hello ccbarr.

      The man ‘in question’ was a park ranger and he came by his eagles quite honestly. As he noted (and I did not include in my post), the birds on display were provided for education and were obtained from animals that had not perished in the pursuit of ‘trophies’. He had brought the birds over from the nature center located at a different area of the park where all who come are taught to respect and awe these amazing creatures.

      I am quite heartened to know there are people like yourself who value our national treasures and are passionate about ensuring we continue to protect them.

      Thank you and happy eagle gazing!

  3. Very, very cool! We’ve seen them on a couple of occasions here, but not any babies.

    You’re quite right about us being too busy going about our lives to notice a lot of things. I always have my camera close at hand to catch anything that happens by. Our house backs up to the desert so we have a lot of open spaces, plus we’re about two miles away from a state park. All sorts of things go on all the time and there’s lots of wildlife here.

    1. We have a speedboat but we slowed it down a little lastyear we got us a paddle boat. A few weeks ago we came across an eagles nest in
      Mobile Bay it was so existing. Will be checking on it from time to time.Happy Bald Eagle Watching!

      1. That sounds perfect Sue. A little bit of exercise and a lot more opportunities to catch some exciting wildlife!!

        From what the ‘experts’ here have said – there is lot of activity repairing the nest in the fall (here in Michigan) in preparation for the winter. And then again in the spring as the eagles prepare the nest for any new eaglets. And then of course the excitement of watching the eaglets as they interact with the adults!

        Enjoy!

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