Impressed Yet Again

Cindy comes home.

Cindy comes home.

Windblown Dad.

Windblown Dad.

Jim arrives and Cindy leaves.

Jim arrives and Cindy leaves.

Jim, The Hunter, returns.

Jim, The Hunter, returns.

Matching profiles.

Matching profiles.

Jim and his little one.

Jim and his little one.

Tiny feathers on little wings.

Tiny feathers on little wings.

Frequent readers of this blog know that I find the American Bald Eagle to be a very impressive bird. To say that they never cease to impress me seems trite but it is absolutely true, and just today they impressed me again.

A few of the Eastwood Eagle Watchers gathered this morning in the 20 degree windchill to watch Jim and Cindy caring for their two one-month-old eaglets. The overcast sky promised more clouds than sun and the biting wind brought tears to our eyes if we happened to turn our heads the wrong way. The calendar said that it was the twentieth of April, but the weather screamed late February. Holding our cameras steady would be a challenge today and ungloved hands would soon grow numb.

We found Cindy faithfully sitting in the aerie tending to the needs of her energetic duo and trying to keep them sheltered from the constant wind and cold air. (This was my first impressing moment of the day. Cindy was unsheltered from the blustery wind and the brilliant white feathers of her head, ruffled by the bitterly raw gusts, glistened in the filtered light of the early morning sun, yet her attention was totally focused on her offspring and her devotion to their health and safety was obvious.)

Before long we noticed Jim flying over Eagle Lake, just north of the nest, apparently hunting for what we were sure must have at least been the eaglets’ second breakfast of the day. After a minute or so he dropped out of view and our attention returned to the nest. There we noticed Cindy looking out over the treetops toward Eagle Lake. She was watching her mate as he fished its clear waters. (This was the second impressive moment of the day as I was struck anew by how these adult eagles always seem to know of each other’s location. This is more than just a result of their amazingly acute eyesight. It is deeper than that. It is almost as if they have a 6th sense that links them together in a way that we are unable to grasp.) As we watched Cindy, she moved to a new position just north of the center of the nest as she looked to the east. Through the trees to the east we caught the image of Jim flying towards the nest. We had not noticed his silent, rapid approach, but Cindy had.

He had been successful in his task and was carrying a large fish in his talons. (I found myself impressed again by the unfailing skill of this hunter. Having witnessed his fishing abilities time after time I am now beginning to believe that the fish are voluntarily jumping from the water into his talons as he passes overhead.) The fish showed no reaction as Jim landed in the nest. The two eaglets on the other hand seemed pretty excited by Dad’s arrival. Cindy simply stood up, hopped onto the rim of the nest and flew to a nearby tree. (There I stood impressed again by the smoothness of the exchange of duties.) Now it was Jim’s turn to tend to the eaglets’ needs. He immediately began shredding the fish and feeding the apparently starving youngsters at his feet.

Those youngsters are getting bigger and bigger each day. They are looking very healthy and strong. Flapping wings and hopping eaglets are already starting to make that nest a bit more crowded at times. Tiny feathers are now protruding from those flapping wings and the puny eaglets are about to be transformed into juvenile Bald Eagles. Within a few weeks this transformation will provide us with a reason to be impressed yet again.

Advertisements
Published in: on April 21, 2013 at 4:23 am  Comments (6)  

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The photos are awesome!!! I I do have a question, besides Cindy being larger than Jim, how else do you tell them apart? As I watch the eagle cam, it is predictable which ever way Cindy or Jim is looking, the other one appears from that direction. Eaglejim you describe it perfectly, a true connection of their bond. Thanks again for another exciting post. Polly.

  2. hese pictures andinformation are greatly welcome thanks so much. Ruth

  3. Thank you Polly. There are other ways to tell them apart. Cindy is currently missing a feather from the lower portion of the trailing edge of her left wing and her white head feathers part at her chest creating an inverted V notch in the white feathers. Jim has a faint black streak on the outer end of one tail feather on the right side of his tail and his white head feathers form a more even line at his chest. Jim

  4. Thank you Ruth.

  5. I am so excited!!! My daughter and I drove from Sidney to the Eastwood Lake Park this afternoon and just as we parked Jim/Cindy flew over us!! I barely stopped my truck and watched as the eagle flew to the nest. Yes, I saw it all in a matter of seconds!! That will keep a smile on my face for a while! Thanks Jim for all the information you have given me and I plan on many more visits to Eastwood Lake! Polly.

  6. That is great Polly! I can feel your excitment! I am glad the eagles were in an accommodating mood. Maybe I will see you at Eastwood someday.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: