While We Wait

Jim and Cindy’s Treetop Palace is cradling precious eggs far more priceless than any ever crafted by Fabrege. These eggs are not bejeweled and trimmed in gold. They are not sitting on a pedestal, bathed in special lighting or protected by a glass case and paid guards carrying guns. They are too valuable for such trivial characteristics. These eggs are far more treasured than any egg found in a museum. Although to the naked eye they may seam quite ordinary, after careful examination their real beauty begins to emerge.

For these eggs have never been touched by human hands. Their pedestal is a rugged, living sycamore tree and they are illuminated by the warming sunrays, shimmering moonbeams and twinkling starlight. Their protection comes from a massive basket of sticks, carefully and lovingly woven together by master builders. Their guards serve not for pay but from devotion and are armed with talons and the determination to protect these eggs from any threat and at any cost. The extraordinary value of these extraordinary eggs comes not from what is on the outside but from the miracle transpiring on the inside. Life. Inside each fragile eggshell a tiny American Bald Eagle is developing. Eyes, heart, wings, taloned-feet… all being formed, slowly and meticulously inside a very plain shell. Priceless, precious and simply amazing. Many speed by without even noticing the miracle over their shoulder.

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But we watch we wait.

As we wait, other feathered visitors are gracing the skies with their own special beauty. Maybe they lack the grandeur of a Bald Eagle but they are unique as well. Ever watchful, Jim and Cindy are aware of  their presence within their domain. So while we wait, let’s enjoy the late winter spectacle together.

We have recently noticed two visitors from the north that have been hunting in the grasslands of Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers perfected their flying machine in the years following their historic 1903 powered flight. The first visitors were a few Northern Harriers. These low-flying hunters skim over the ground in search of voles, mice and other tasty rodents.

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Rough-Legged Hawks have also journeyed southward to hunt the prairie. Their bold, distinctive markings make them easy to identify as they hunt from tree limbs or higher in the sky.

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Pileated Woodpeckers are beating out their rhythms from trees as they search for insects that are living within the wood.

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The Northern Cardinal sings his springtime serenade as we pass by.

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And, of course, the ever-present Red-Tailed Hawk is always entertaining and sometimes very accommodating to photographers as they fly from post to post…

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or hunt from a tree limb…

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or wonder what it would be like to be a Bald Eagle.

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Sometimes they even say hello!

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But the masters of our skies are Jim and Cindy and even though they are focused on the nest, they occasionally focus on other things as well.

Thursday morning as I was making the rounds of Eagledom I spotted Cindy flying rapidly across the highway about 1/4 of a mile in front of me. (When eagles are trying to get somewhere fast it is pretty obvious.) As I cleared a grove of trees on my right I saw Cindy landing in the stubble of the adjacent cornfield. Then I noticed two very bushy coyotes about 100 feet from her hightailing it towards that grove of trees. When I reached the far edge of the cornfield I could see Cindy in my mirrors flying back toward the wellfield just across the highway carrying something in her talons. From their favorite guard post our eagles have a clear view of that cornfield and I surmised that she had seen those coyotes catch a rabbit and decided that rabbit sounded pretty good for lunch. What a girl!

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There is just so much natural beauty to see while we wait.

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Published in: on March 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm  Comments (24)  

24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Youe commentary/observations/pictures are priceless. between you and Decorah, I have great admiration for the dedication of birds in raisinf their young. thank you.

  2. Thank you for such beautiful writing. I feel as if I were right there!

  3. This is simply an amazing story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Suffice to say, once again your gifted way with words and sharing with us the photos, some humorous, tell us so much, while we wait. A huge thank you for adding beauty to my day. Carol.

  4. My hubby and I read your posts everytime you send them out. We don’t respond much but…. We appreciate them immensly! Your writing is enjoyable and informative and photography is outstanding. We see mature and immature Eagles often around Crains Run area south of Miamisburg . Also the winter visiting Hawks. Thank you for taking pics of them too. Please publish Eagles and Hawks calendars next year. Your photos are like no others! Thank you for all the time you spend with Jim and Cindy and their families.
    Ginny

  5. EGG-ZACTLY WHAT I WANTED TO KNOW. ARE THEY ON THE NEST AGAIN IN 2015??? JIM I AM CURIOUS ARE THERE OTHER NEST IN THE GENERAL AREA? MY CHEAPO POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA GETS TO GET CLOSER TO THE ACTION. THANK YOU AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR THE WONDERFUL PHOTOS.
    DAVE MUSSELMAN

  6. I enjoyed watching the eagles so much on the webcam and will greatly miss that this year

  7. Thank you Bob. They are very dedicated parents.

  8. Thank you for going with us on this adventure Rocknrobins.

  9. Thank you again Carol. You are too kind.

  10. Thank you Ginny. It is a great time to be living in Ohio. We seem to have more variety and bigger numbers every year!

  11. Good question Dave. There are nesting eagles at almost all of our nearby state parks that have large bodies of water and the wandering, non-nesting juveniles seem to be everywhere.

  12. I’m sorry they are not streaming this year Brenda. We are working on finding a more affordable solution for 2016. We will keep you posted as best we can but we are a poor substitute for actually being able to see it all live.

  13. Another great update Jim! Only through your eyes, do a lot of us Eagle Watchers, get to enjoy the beauty of these awesome creatures! So, I say, thank you again! We’ll be waiting patiently for the next update!

  14. Adult bald eagle was flying over the river near George Rogers Clark Park this past Sunday in Clark County!

  15. Jim,
    Your artful way with words is a gift to all of us. Thank you, thank you. I live in NE, so am not close to Jim and Cindy’s nest. But, your blogs and beautiful pictures puts me there every time. I’m transported to Ohio and the surrounding countryside. Last week’s blog about the history of Jim and Cindy was invaluable to me personally. I came to this nest late last season, so didn’t know a lot about it. I appreciate the time it takes you to write this blog and keep us all up to date. I look forward to reading them and rereading them.

  16. So enjoy your beautifully written posts. Anxiously awaiting each and every one.

  17. Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoy the stories and photos you share. What beautiful birds. Thanks so much for the variety.

  18. I eally enjoy reading your posts, Jim. You have such a way of description and poetry that helps me see what is going on without being there. Although I am still looking forward to visiting one day.

  19. Thank you Opal. I will try to be patient as I await writing it.

  20. Impressive aren’t they Jodi? There is a nest east of the C. J. Brown Reservoir so it may have been one of those birds.

  21. Thank you elbydog1. I am glad (and somewhat surprised) that people enjoy my ramblings. I am happy that you have joined us. We are almost to 500 followers now! May I encourage you to scan some of the older postings to get a true picture of what these magnificent eagles have endured over the last 7 years. Their struggles, losses and victories show how wild their adventure really is.

  22. Thank you Pat. Your support means a lot as this laptop is a bit impersonal at times.

  23. Thank you for being a part of the story Wanda. Jim and Cindy are certainly beautiful, and then some.

  24. Thank you Bonnie. I love a good story and the Jim and Cindy’s adventures are thrilling at times. Theirs is a story worth telling and I am blessed to be able to pass it along to so many.


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