Something Positive, Amidst Much That Isn’t!

“She was screaming for him to come and release her and he did.” This is a rather

Talk about perseverance, these two definitely know what it is.

Talk about perseverance, these two definitely know what it is.

dramatic way for me to begin a story about eagles, but it happens to be a very melodramatic story. If you’ve been watching this drama, you’ll agree that it has been startling, breathtaking and thrilling. I am referring to the live performance of the Decorah eagles. They are M and D, the initials representing the words “mom and dad” as they skillfully persevered and hatched all three eggs resting beneath them. And, millions of people were able to watch through the bird cam which photographed every second of this event and created a once in a lifetime experience for viewers.

My husband and I started watching only a few weeks ago, and not continuously. Much of

Each eagle would rearrange the eggs as it settled in for hours of sitting.

Each eagle would rearrange the eggs as it settled in for hours of sitting.

the video taping shows an eagle sitting motionlessly for hours and hours on its nest. Because the camera used is the Night Vision Camera the filming continued through the night.The eagle sat silently, sleeping with its head tucked in its wing,completely unaware of the camera. We were fortunate to catch the “changing of guard,” when one eagle moved in to replace the other. The first thing D did was rearrange and add new materials to the nest, but when M’s turn came again, she arranged it to suit herself.

You may wonder why the fuss over such a normal act of nature. It’s the filming of this event that shows how great a miracle it really is. Given the extreme cold and heavy snows the experts wondered if the eggs would be hatched. The eagles are called Decorah

Imagine waking up to ten inches of snow covering you and the nest.

Imagine waking up to ten inches of snow covering you and the nest.

because their nest is high in a Cottonwood tree in Decorah, Iowa and since the laying of the first egg on February 23, they persevered through 40 below wind chills, direct temperatures of 20 below, drenching rains and multiple snowfalls, one of which covered the nest with over 10 inches of snow.

The eagle has the longest incubation period of any bird. It was 46 days since M & D’s first egg was laid and the final one hatched. Recorded is the evening an owl

Pictured is "mom" attacking the owl.

Pictured is “mom” attacking the owl.

jumped on M in the middle of the night. Mom’s reaction was to throw her head back, raise her feathers and squawk in outrage. After the owl fled, Mom and the eaglets settled in for the night. but not until Dad brought some food for M then left for his nearby branch to roost.

Eagles mate for life, but in 2007 Decorah Mom disappeared in a snow storm. His second wife is younger than he is and, yes, eagles can be differentiated by the eye shadow and darker feathers interspersed with the white ones in M’s head and tail. Dad has a fully white head and tail and is noticeably smaller than Mom. Male bald eagles are

Look for the dark feathers around the eyes and in the head, that's the female eagle.

Look for the dark feathers around the eyes and in the head, that’s the female eagle.

normally 25 percent smaller than females. This couple has had nineteen offspring.

After learning of the experiences of M and D, I better understand why  M might yell and scream for relief. Her reward was a tiny coot brought in by D. By the way, now that M and D have made it through the sitting period, their eaglets will remain in the nest for nearly three months, even after they look full grown. These bandit masked, bobble-headed babies have had 100,000 computers watching at one time. Websites went viral and 200 million people from 184 countries have viewed this miracle.

On June 20 1782, our Continental Congress adopted the bald eagle as our official national symbol. Though, at one time, they were near extinction, they are now protected and are

These eaglets will remain in the nest for three months.

These eaglets will remain in the nest for three months.

quite numerous. Even so, today, only one in ten eagles survive. This new trio of baby eaglets will struggle for their independence, just like our country did. The bird cam has had an impact on people’s lives everywhere. I’m sure one of them is a greater appreciation of our Creator-God.

Go to Decorah Eagles to see this wonder unfold.

One is yet to hatch before the family is complete.

One is yet to hatch before the family is complete.

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Something Positive, Amidst Much That Isn’t!

  1. Miracle is the operative word…my first encounter in nature with a Bald Eagle came during an overwhelming time…traveling into the unknown. On the morning of a surgery for mom Ann I was traveling home and a Bald Eagle crossed my path. The sighting gave me a great feeling of peace…I knew it was sent to reliev my fears. The next time came when a dear friend was diagnosed with a rare and agreevive cancer. The Drs. gave her no hope and told her she may have 4 months. We cried and I helped her best I could all the time while feeling helpless. Then a Bald Eagle crossed directly in my path. I immediately drove to her house and told her…”everything is going to be fine”…”you are going to do everything necessary to rid yourself of this cancer and God is going to do the rest. Her 4 month death sentence is now 4 years cancer free. Today I see Bald Eagles almost every morning on my way to breakfast. A manmade nest was built for them and they have young every two years. You can see thier little heads in the nest when they are awake.

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  2. So, I see that watching the wild bird cams on the internet, has also caught your interest. You should check out the wild bird cams that are supported by Cornell University. This is my third year watching the red tailed hawks live cam. Last year one of the young hawks caught and killed its first prey (a starling) before it ever fledged the nest. I saw this first hand, and it sure was exciting to witness the ways of nature. The red tailed hawk cam also has a live blog which streams throughout most of the day and into the night. You can participate in the conversations and anyone can ask questions about the nest and what is happening. The blog is well monitored and anyone who “gets out of line”, immediately gets the boot!! The red tailed hawks nest is watched by school children and it is a great learning experience for everyone. Here in NJ, we also have the Duke Farms eagle nest, and I watched it all of last year, but I haven’t had the time to look in on that one this year. I find myself being drawn to the Red Tailed Hawks nest again. and also to the Jersey City Falcon Cam, where a peregrine pair is nesting again. The peregrine pair has yet to put an egg into their nest this year. The female is an older bird, and she may be nearing the end of her years of producing young. Last year she laid eggs, but her chicks were sickly and they didn’t survive. She was eventually given a “foster” chick, which the peregrine pair successfully raised. I am wondering if they will give her a “foster egg” this year? I feel so bad for her…..watching her hovering over the nest and waiting for a miracle. Her mate is equally dedicated as he continues to ready the nest for eggs. Thanks for sharing your blog and pictures of the live cam that you have been watching. Be sure to check out the Cornell cams and also the Jersey City Falcon cam. Birds are one of God’s most beautiful creatures and he must have really loved them to make so many different ones.

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    • Hi Colleen: I have been following your interest in seashore birds, hawks, and really, all birds. It’s obvious you care for them all. A study of them is so very interesting. I know you are finding this to be true. Your photos of them just complete the study. Keep it up. I hope others will read what you’ve written here, it’s very informative. God bless you and a blessed Easter.

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