Every time I visit MomBert, I’m jealous of her bird population. Yes, as this blog testifies I have a decent level of avian traffic in my yard. However MomBert has the high traffic patterns and the variety!
She has blue jays! Blue jays are a fairly common bird, but they don’t visit my yard much. I’ll hear them in the neighborhood, and see them across the street, but they rarely stop by.
She gets lots of titmouses, nuthatches, and woodpeckers who like her wooded back yard border. Again, common birds, but my population seems to be darling chickadees, juncos, sparrows, and finches.
Even her doves seem fancier than mine. Look at the blue eye shadow on this one. It was blending into the rocks so well that it startled me.
One of her favorite visitors is this towhee who won’t pose because it constantly hops and scratches at everything looking for food.
So, yea, I was a bit jelly of her birds, her deer herd, and her foxen when I left to go look for sexy salamanders.
I HAVE BALD EAGLES!!
Well, they’re not in my yard where smaller raptors have landed, but they were only a 10 minute drive away.
A week ago, a friend posted her visit to view the eagles. They have created a huge nest at a relatively easy viewing spot on the Scioto River. I was determined to make this part of my weekend activities.
The birds and nest are so big that I easily spotted their silhouettes as I drove by the first time. One turn around later, I was playing Frogger to join other people staring across the river.
I could hear the eagles vocalizing from across the river. These were high pitched chirping cries. For some reason my brain wanted manly, majestic roars. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because they’re so big.
Conversation with the other birdwatchers revealed that both birds were on the nest because a predator had been in the area. Allegedly there were three eaglets to guard in the nest, and we were all standing in the parking lot of a stranger’s home, a river access point or a small business. No one was sure.
When it comes to nature, I am always torn between the “be in the moment” dictum and the act of documentation. I’m compelled to document because what I’m seeing is strange, beautiful, unusual, and is usually filling me with a sense of amazement that I get to see and document this thing! I feel like I was in the moment as I happily watched eagles through my lens. Part of being compelled to document, is being compelled to share because I want other people to understand how cool and interesting the natural world can be. I don’t know if the world would be a little nicer if we were all just a smidgen more in-tune with the plants and animals around us. Dirty hippie rant over.
While I watched, one of the birds left the nest and took a soaring path down the river to land in another big tree. “He just had to get out of the house for a minute, “said the guy standing beside me. I walked back to my car smiling, excited to closely exam my photos, and urge my friends to visit the spot. For once this week, it felt like real spring with the sun shining as I drove towards home, and a bald eagle circled above me on his way back to the nest.
Updated: I went back the next day. The little lady was home alone, and nestled in. After a while she stood and BOOM! in swooped Big Daddy! He had an unidentified something clutched in his talons. I might have been screaming, “It’s Daddy!” Oh, issues. He dropped off his delivery and then removed himself to another tree.
I did some more screaming when I found out that I actually got this photo.