I remember the first time I saw bald eagles. I was in Alaska and it was really a thrill to see them on a branch along a stream. It felt so American to be up in the wide open spaces of Alaska and seeing our national bird.
The next and most fantastic experience happened in Canada the first summer I went to live on Vancouver Island. I go to the town of Sidney and stay in a neat apartment above a garage a block from Robert’s Bay.
As I was settling in I heard about a bald eagle’s nest just blocks from my home. The exciting thing was a red hawk had laid an egg in the eagle’s nest. Birders were arriving from all around to watch the nest and speculate about what would happen when that little red hawk hatched. I started swinging by once or twice a day to check out what was happening in the nest. There were always groups of people hanging out and it was quite a social event too.
Eventually the National Geographic society got involved. I had driven up that summer so I got a chuckle out of the fact that when people saw my California license plates people assumed I had driven all the way up to see the nest. The eggs hatched…The Red hawk first …The poor baby was fed a fish diet ..unusual for baby hawks. Then the two baby eagles hatched. The excitement grew it was so much fun to see them when the parents were off …They took care of all hatchlings. It was magnificent watching the parents fly and the little ones starting to flap their wings and learn to hop up on the edge of the nest. I never missed a day …It became part of my daily routine to check on the Bald Eagles.
The Red Hawk learned to fly first..all were successfully raised and eventually flew off. Can you imagine living on that cul-de-sac with people nonstop on your street and some in your yard. It turns out that they were used to it because the eagle’s return to this nest every year.
The incredible thing was that one of them threw a block party after the nest was empty. The mayor, national geographic and all who had enjoyed the experience. The expert photographers came and brought copies of their photos to sell.
It was a special Canadian style block party where we had all shared an amazing Bald Eagle experience. It seemed to me a very Canadian thing to do. I never heard anything but good words from those neighbors.
So now I keep seeing on my tv the Bald Eagle nest in Big Bear with a camera grabbing live pictures of the eggs being laid…first reported there was one and then two. Today it showed the birds sitting on the nest …reporters are as excited as I was at the nest in Canada. Looking forward to the hatching. Bald Eagles are super birds.