Love on the Wing

It is finally here! My favorite time of the year has arrived in all of its airborne wonder! With the turn of the calendar page, Courting Season has begun!

A few hours spent lakeside under the clear autumn skies, warmed by the bright sunlight and cooled by the stiff breeze can prove very rewarding to Dayton’s eagle watchers during November’s slowly transitioning weather. Love is in the air. Raptured raptors are instinctively driven to celebrate their freedom and committment with aerial dances. I find this spectacle captivating. We humans would rather celebrate freedom from committment. We too often view committing to someone or to something as a restriction of our personal liberty. We miss many blessings by embracing such self-serving thoughts. Mutual committment can be comforting, reassuring, and at times exhilarating, for humans as well as Bald Eagles.

I have written of the sights and sounds of Eagle Courting Season before. But as I witness it once again I am struck anew by the wonder of it all. Today, over Eastwood Lake, Jim and Cindy playfully chased each other across the sky, swooping and turning in a dance that is as old as time itself. And they know the dance so very, very well. Whether together on a limb, soaring in the heavens or anywhere in between, they dance the dance with perfection and grace. Even our local Red Tails are giving the dance a try.

If you are in the area and have the time to sit and watch a little avian courtship, come and join us. If you don’t have the time may I encourage you to try to make the time. The dance is just beginning and the silent music of the season will crescendo as November progresses. The eagles do not follow a fixed schedule. They dance when the mood stirs them to do so. The action for now appears to be heaviest in the late morning sun after the early morning nest-building chores have been completed. You may see them dancing in the air or you may see the lovebirds side by side in a quiet lakeside perch. You may see them hunting or fishing together. But together they will be. Usually within a few feet of one another. You may see a protective, possessive Bald Eagle chasing off an unwelcome suitor looking for a mate of its own. There is also a chance that you may see nothing at all. These are truly wild creatures. They set the schedule and the agenda for the day. The secret is to quietly sit, watch and wait, knowing that the excitement may surprise you at any second. Just the anticipation is thrilling for most. Bring along a beverage, your camera, your binoculars, your gloves, your hat, your warm coat…whatever you need to be comfortable for an hour or two. But please, just be sure that you don’t miss the dance.

Love on the wing is a beautiful thing, especially when the wings are majestic eagle wings spanning more than seven feet!

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Published in: on November 2, 2012 at 3:12 am  Comments (4)  

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love it!! So excited to start a new season. The Eagles got me through the long winter last yr.

  2. This is indeed a love story between a devoted couple, who happen to be eagles.Your group of eagle watchers are so blessed to have this story taking place almost in your backyards. What an amazing sight you get to see each day and thank you for being the eyes and ears of those of us who are unable to get to Dayton. Thanks ej! Polly.

  3. They are very inspirational. Glad you enjoy our reports Polly.

  4. We will keep you posted Joy. They gladden and inspire the heart. They struggle through winter with no roof, limited food, no heat and precious eggs to protect and keep warm. But it is their purpose. It is their calling. They do what needs to be done because it needs to be done. Here’s hoping that your winter will be shorter and easier this year.


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