That Would Be Repetitive

One of the challenges that I face each time I settle in to write a new post and stare at the blank screen before me is how to relate to the readers the cyclical story of Jim and Cindy without being repetitive. This blog now has more than 360 followers and many more that check in from time to time but have never entered their email address into the “Follow” box on the right of this page. A new posting can generate around 100 to 150 views per day for several days and our busiest day had 1,155 views. (In total our views have surpassed the 45,000 mark!) Many blogs far exceed these numbers, but I view the statistics not as numbers at all, but as people. And I have nothing to market, no profit to gain, just an amazing story to tell. A beautiful story full of ups and downs (literally), victories and trials, and a grandeur that is difficult to capture in words. Many of you have followed this cyclical story for years. But for a large number of readers this story is brand new. So I face this dilemma of relating the same story in a fresh way. I labor to find a unique method to share, educate and inform some without boring others. That is the challenge that I face this evening.

Jim and Cindy are indeed incubating their precious eggs in that wonderful aerie of theirs. Watching the live feed through the online Eagle-cams, which our partners at The Boonshoft Museum (boonshoftmuseum.org) provide, you can see the eagles’ comings and goings. But where are they coming from and where are they going to? The eagle just relieved of incubation duty typically will leave the nest to fly, feed or fetch nesting material before returning to the well field to stand guard duty in a nearby tree. Sometimes these trips are routine, even mundane, but at other times they are downright thrilling!

Last Thursday as I parked at Eastwood and watched from my car, I spotted a large, dark bird high in the sky over Eagle Lake. The intermittent flash white from the sunlight reflecting off of its head and tail was proof that it was indeed an adult Bald Eagle! As I drove to the east end of Eastwood Lake I readied my camera. When I neared Harshman Road I had lost sight of the bird so I slowly and systematically scanned the pale blue sky, carefully searching for movement. That is when I noticed a dark form, fairly high in the air and approaching my location. Finding the bird in my camera lens revealed it to be a first-year juvenile eagle and not the bird I had just seen so I rapidly scanned the skies again. That is when my eyes locked onto the approaching form of another dark bird, slightly higher and several hundred feet southeast of the juvenile! A brief flash of white assured me that this was and adult Bald Eagle! It was definitely tracking the juvenile and it appeared that their paths would intersect just south of my location! “Friend or foe?” I wondered as I watched. Aiming my camera up through my open sunroof, I began shooting. Although they were still fairly high, I captured these images as the juvenile, and then the adult, passed overhead.

Straight overhead.

Straight overhead.

Straight overhead

Straight overhead

The adult was Jim and soon he had used his higher altitude and gravity’s pull to close the gap between the two eagles. For the next 15 minutes I drove from place to place along the lake to stay within camera distance of the drama overhead.  The juvie’s larger size seemed to indicate that it was a female and the lack of aggression between the two made me think that this was a father/daughter encounter. Jim swooped, gained altitude, swooped again and for a brief moment flipped and presented his talons to the youngster but with no apparent animosity. At times he swooped and turned at the juvenile. Yet at other times the pair soared peacefully along side of each other. For a few wonderful seconds, the juvenile followed Jim, beak-to-tail, as they slowly flapped in complete unison. After the encounter, both eagles returned to the well field, with Jim once again passing directly over my car with his wings partially folded for a rapid descent. Although they were quite high, here are a few of the 333 images that I captured of their airshow.

Up goes Jim.

Up goes Jim.

The turn to dive.

The turn to dive.

Talons!

Talons!

Chasing.

Chasing.

Unison flight.

Unison flight.

JIm's rapid return home!

Jim’s rapid return home!

Although this interaction seemed to lack the fierceness so obvious when Jim is defending the nest, I knew as I watched the spectacle unfolding that in a matter of a few days all of that will change. When the new eaglets hatch from their shells in about 10 days, Jim and Cindy will view last year’s eaglets as a possible threat to the hatchlings and will no longer tolerate their presence near the nest. Maybe what I found myself witnessing on Thursday was the beginning of that process. That always saddens me a bit as the juvenile most likely has no idea why Mom and Dad have grown aggressive towards it.

Then on Friday, Roger captured the following images of Cindy fishing the waters of Eastwood Lake. Now that the ice has thawed and the ice-fishermen have stowed their gear for another season, migratory waterfowl are returning to the lake in greater numbers. Those numbers include many American Coots, a favorite meal for Jim and Cindy. In the chilly morning air, Cindy decided to take advantage of the situation and visited the lake to find her breakfast. No robe and slippers for this gal, whatever she does, she always dresses in her finest apparel! Even when she missed the mark and the prey eluded the hunter, she was fascinating to watch! Whether perched in a tree overlooking the lake, stretching out for a strike or simply flying by, Cindy always puts on quite a show for those fortunate enough to be nearby.

The launch.

The launch.

The approach.

The approach.

This one got away!

This one got away!

One more time.

Try, try again.

So, when they are not on the nest keeping their eggs safe and warm, you may find them on-wing doing eagle things. Whether you are new to this blog or a long time follower, find a reason (an excuse) to spend some time sitting in your car lakeside and praying that you will be blessed with a show of your own. Words and even pictures fail to capture the wonder of a Bald Eagle in the wild. I could confess that I find these beautiful birds inspirational, awesome and thrilling, but that would be repetitive.

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Published in: on March 17, 2014 at 1:24 am  Comments (12)  

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As always, a good read. I love to read your musings about our illustrious Eagle pair, Jim and Cindy . I can picture in my mind as I read your blog exactly what you saw!
    I have to say, I’m in agreement with you about last years offspring. It is a little sad…….but, that’s the way it has to be. It’s time for them to move on and start their lives away from Mom and Dad. But I’m sure…..they’ll do just fine! After all, they had good teachers!
    So keep up the good work! We’ll all be waiting for your next post Mr. Jim………

  2. Will never tire of reading your stories! Keep em’ coming 🙂

  3. Thank you Opal. It is amazing how sitting in a car for a few hours with nothing going on can suddenly become a day to remember! We will keep you posted.

  4. And I will never tire of telling their story. Sounds like a good match to me Kathy.

  5. I agree with Kathy, just enjoy both the pictures and article, when ever I . drive by the lake I always look from them.

  6. Oh my goodness, your words put me right there with you. Thank you. I love when I see your name pop up in my email, I know I’m in for a good story and pictures for sure. Thank you for being our eyes from a different angle on the nest.

  7. Thanks for your continuous, information & pictures, of Jim & Cindy’s adventures.
    I enjoy appreciate, you taking, the time & forwarding, the information, and pictures, to all of us, by email.

    Tracy Crabtree
    Administrative Assistant/Receptionist
    Buckeye Diamond Logistics, Inc.
    15 Sprague Road
    South Charleston, Ohio 45368
    Phon: (937) 462-8361
    Fax: (937) 462-7544
    tcrabtree@buckeyediamond.com
    http://www.buckeyediamond.com

    [cid:image001.jpg@01C7C20D.86DB9790]

  8. Thank you again for a beautiful telling of the eagles. I loved that Jim seemed to be enjoying what ‘they’ do with his offspring, and you captured it beautifully, and spun a beautiful tale. I loved how you related this entire time and I really believe it was his ‘daughter.’ I follow Decorah’s D1 and now at this time of year still, he/she returned some months back [from eastern Northern Canada] and is still in past weeks tracked close to the natal nest. If their offspring travels such distances and then returns, as it has [now about 3 years] each season, I am sure Jim and Cindy’s might well follow the same instincts and/or patterns. Comforting. Thank you so much. And to think you had a blank slate in front of you! This was truly an inspiring, exciting tale, and one we would never have glimpsed into in their free and wild lives, without someone sharing it with us as you have always done. I look forward to hearing more and hope their new clutch will be safe and a huge success. . . . .

  9. Thank you Bernie. I am glad you enjoy the postings.

  10. Thanks again Jannice. It is a big story.

  11. I enjoy sharing the adventure Clondres. Eastwood could easily support another nest if one of Jim and Cindy’s offspring would want to return with a mate and set up nestkeeping here. Of course, Jim and Cindy would have to be willing to share.

  12. You are welcome Tracy. Things are progressing nicely and good things are yet to come!


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