Eggstremely, Eggseedingly Eggsiting News!

Jim and Hope have some news to share with all of you! Can you guess what it is?

Boy! You’re sharp!

It has been an eggstraordinarily eggsasperating week because things did not happen eggsactly as we had eggspected, but now we are eggsuberant!

(Help! I can’t stop!…Deep breath…Ahhhhhhh!)

Whew!

All last week Jim and Hope were looking very much like egg laying was drawing near. Knowing that Cindy seemed to favor the 15th to 17th of February we were hoping that Hope would do the same. Hope is an unknown quantity in this year’s adventure. Unknown for now anyway. Over the years we will get to know her better.

Repeatedly she went to the nest and remained low in the nursery. She would sit there for hours and then she would fly off, leaving the nest unattended. We know that Hope is at least 5 years old but she may be somewhat older. Had she too lost her pair-bonded mate or is Jim her first beau? Young adult eagles sometimes have difficulties successfully breeding, incubating or brooding eaglets. Although the entire process is driven by instinct, there is an art to doing even instinctive things successfully.

So, after several days of teasing us we are now confident that there is at least one egg in the nest. Hope has been staying in the nest and Jim has been standing guard in the nearby trees or in their sycamore tree, perched directly above the nest.

dscn3372et

Let me take this opportunity to illustrate a reality about the location of Jim and Hope’s nest that many people visiting Eastwood Lake are surprised to discover. The above image was taken from a distance of 1/2 mile from the nest (as are most of our nest shots) in hazy lighting which is why it is so misty looking. Adding to the poor image quality is the fact that I was not using my tripod but holding the camera in my hand which adds to the distortion. (If you are not a photographer this “distortion factor” is easily visualized if you picture a large cone, 1/2 mile tall and laying on its side. The tip of the cone is the camera lens and the bottom of the cone is around the nest. Any movement of the camera, even breathing or compressing the shutter button, may seem insignificant at the tip of the cone but that tiny movement is greatly multiplied 1/2 mile away. As the ambient light decreases the shutter within the camera must stay open longer to capture the image so it also captures more movement and greater distortion.) Now you may be asking, “Why the photography 101 lesson?” Well, I simply want you all to better comprehend the challenges should you bring a camera to Eastwood during the next several months as Jim and Hope are nesting. I also want to help you better understand my appreciation for the amazing images that Roger captures of the Treetop Palace. I probably mention that 1/2 mile distance too often in my postings but I hate to meet people at the lake who are disappointed that the nest is so far away. To illustrate just how far that 1/2 mile really is, look at the following image that I captured from the same spot as the image above, and see if you can spot the nest.

dscn3380e

Do you see it? It is right there in the distant treetops, as are both eagles. Look really, really close. Still no luck? Focus your eyes on the trees between the orange barrel and the wooden utility pole. Can you see it now? Let me zoom you in a little closer.

dscn3383e

Oh! There it is!

Now consider these additional factors in photographing their not-so-humble abode. That orange barrel is sitting on Harshman Road, which is higher that the roadway at the lake. (Look at that second picture again.) Harshman Road has 4 lanes of traffic so you often have to shoot between cars and that elevated asphalt road adds heat-distortion to the images as well. And Roger seldom uses a tripod. The man is just gifted and his images are eggseptional!

Well that brought me back to the point of this post. I care about you, our readers, so as we look forward to the completion of the 35 days of incubation and about 3 more months until the eaglet(s) fledge, let me add one cautionary note. Eagle watchers easily get emotionally attached to our favorite eagles and their offspring. Every nesting season is an uncertainty and having a new female in the nest just adds more questions to the potential success or failure of this year’s nest. I trust that Jim and Hope will be successful but I enter this season in full acknowledgment that that may not be the case and I encourage you to embrace the next few weeks with the same mindset. Some things are in hands far greater than our own.We may rejoice together or we may hurt together but nature must take its course and man can only intervene when it is proper to do so.

But there is absolutely no reason to assume the worst! So like expectant parents (or grandparents) let’s look forward to what lies ahead! Jim and Hope are right on schedule and seem to be doing everything right and that indeed is eggtremely, eggseedingly eggsiting news!

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Published in: on February 24, 2017 at 10:28 am  Comments (31)  

31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am so happy that you are so eggcited over Hope and Jim’s (Hopefully) pending family, as we all are, Eggciting news!!!!!

  2. Eagle Eggs are EVERYWHERE! So happy about Jim and Hope. Sending positive thoughts that the precious treasure inside the egg will, in time, hatch into a perfect bobblehead, who will then grow into a mighty eagle! Tis really the season for eagles! At DC we have 2 eggs just laid this week – and I know other nests are reporting the same thing. Big smiles and great eggspectations all around.

  3. Thank you so much! Interesting to see what you have to do to get the pictures we all enjoy!

  4. Yay for positivity!!!

  5. Thank you, Jim. This is a wonderfully, eggciting time of year! Looking forward to hearing all about Jim & Hope over the next 4 months.

  6. Thanks for keeping us updated!

  7. I love your articles.

  8. Wish the camera’s would return.

  9. What wonderful news! Congratulations Jim & Hope. Thank you eaglejim. Looking forward to your updates.

  10. Good morning, Jim. I am an avid Eagle watcher currently living here in Atlanta but planning to return to my home in Florida in the next year or so. I only discovered this Eastwood nest when your precious and beautiful Cindy tragically lost her life. That truly broke my heart. According to all the pictures of her and Jim, she was a beautiful Eagle and they made a lovely pair! I now have the Eastwood Eagle nest on my list of favorite nests to watch and usually check in everyday. I just wanted to let you know how very much I enjoy reading your posts. What other Eagle’s nest could I go to and get a Photography 101 lesson!! 🙂 Since my husband passed away 3 yrs ago, the Eagles and their families seem to have filled a huge void. I have laughed at them, shuttered at them, rejoiced with them and cried because of them. They are beautiful birds that simply bring tears by just watching them let alone when the babies fledge. Oh my…I am happy for them, scared for them but so sad for me. We humans tend to project human feelings on them where they are simply doing what they are supposed to do for their survival and procreation. I thank God for giving us the Eagles…we need to learn from them…They are great partners, parents and so family oriented. If only more humans were like that!! I just want you to know that I so enjoy reading your posts. They are so informative and no doubt coming from a Gentleman who loves God’s creation… especially the beautiful Bald Eagle. Thank you!! I look forward to each new post. Marti Carlisle

  11. Jim that is really great news looking forward to seeing more to come, thanks.

  12. I think it’s certainly okay to say today, “Hope Springs eternal”

  13. Glad you are eggsited Susan!

  14. It has been interesting watching as the nesting season has moved north. Big babies in Florida, fuzzy babies in Georgia, eggs in Ohio and D.C. Onward and upward Carolyn!

  15. Some days are easier than others Sherrie, but that distance remains constant.

  16. Thanks for the cheer Dorothy!

  17. You are welcome Teresa. We will keep everyone informed.

  18. Updating is what we do James. We will keep you posted. Thank you for commenting.

  19. I am glad you enjoy the postings John. I miss the cameras too.

  20. Thanks Marsha. Whatever happens, we will let you know.

  21. Hi Marti! I am glad that you have found us and I hope we can be a part of your growing eagle experience. Being in Atlanta, I assume you are aware of the Berry College nest not far from you. For additional eagle sites I would suggest you visit The American Eagle Foundation at . There you will find a lot of information and links to their eaglecams. There are also a number of individual eaglecams out there that a Google search will reveal. You are absolutely correct. Eagles inspire us to be more devoted, resilient and committed.

  22. Thanks Marty! Time will tell how the story unfolds, and we will pass it on.

  23. Eggselent thought Brenda. Let’s hope Hope is as good as Cindy was!

  24. WONDERFUL NEWS!!!

  25. How eggciting!! Thx Jim!

    On Feb 24, 2017 10:29 AM, “Eastwood Eagle Watchers” wrote:

    > eaglejim posted: “Jim and Hope have some news to share with all of you! > Can you guess what it is? Boy! You’re sharp! It has been an > eggstraordinarily eggsasperating week because things did not happen > eggsactly as we had eggspected, but now we are eggsuberant! (Help! I c” >

  26. Eggcellent!!! Sorry couldn’t resist!

  27. Wonderful indeed Diane. Thank you for checking in.

  28. Eggsactly Lynda! We love sharing good news!

  29. It is hard to resist when you are eggsited Sherry. Thanks!

  30. I’m so eggsited for the fledglings too!! I love to drive by Eastwood Lake on my way home from work because I always look for Jim or Hope (carefully of course). Lately, I can see “someone” sitting in the tree near the nest but I am not able to see if anyone (Hope) is in the nest. It’s too far away. Thanks Jim, for sharing how you get the pictures because I wondered about it since the nest is quite a distance from Rt 4 and Eastwood Lake. I too think it is truly a beautiful sight!!

  31. Thanks Julie! I check every day and Mom and Dad are both being very attentive to the egg(s).


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