Those babies did eventually fly, although it came as a bit of a surprise to all of us.
It was early on a Sunday morning in the Spring of 2009. I was away visiting my parents when my sweet husband called. I could hear him pacing.
I can’t believe you aren’t here, he said. One of the babies is about to fly.
That eaglet (dare devil, remember?) had hopped hopped hopped out to the very end of a not-so-sturdy branch. One more jump and Snap! It happened. The limb broke and that branch, and the still-clutching-it eaglet, were 80 feet in the air and dropping, fast. Then flap flap flap and that big baby was airborne for the very first time.
The shock of first flight still pounding in his chest, the next problem presented itself in short order. Where on earth to land? he had to wonder as he lifted above our roof line. And more significantly: How?
Those early voyages were not pretty. But he got the hang of it and in time, coaxed his little sister out of the nest and into the air. The two of them swooped and circled and played like giddy children, the sky above Sterling Lake their playground. And before we could say four to five weeks, they were “grown” and gone—off to claim hunting grounds of their own.
Three years passed. We heard from friends that the parent eagles had built two more nests, still in our neighborhood but this time, a little deeper in the woods. While the Mama and Papa would come from time to time to fish within our view (and to our delight, to tease us with a spurt of rebuilding), we never saw any signs of real nesting activity.
Until this Spring, that is.
Up next: April of 2012