Birdwatching: 50/365

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“You cannot share your life with a dog… or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.”

 Jane Goodall

Chris continues to faithfully track the eagles and document their progress. They’ve left the woods and taken up residence in a tall pine on a street nearby. He’s captured photos of them with their talons full of reeds and one with a wishbone-shaped branch in her beak culled from their former tree. This photo is one of my favorites, the expression of joy on the bird’s face, so distinctly different from the expressions of distress in my post two weeks ago.

The eagles are working hard to build the new nest themselves. Eagles can be bullies and often overtake the nest of a hawk or osprey, capitalizing on the hard work of another bird, as they did with the nest in the woods. It seems they aren’t taking chances this time. They astutely scouted out a stronger tree and are building from scratch.

The same day Chris captured this photo of the eagle in her new home, he tracked them back to the woods that evening, to their original tree. This struck me as profound, the pair perched precisely where their first nest had been, where their egg had fallen. What does this say about their internal life, their grief and rituals, their connectedness to their unborn offspring and former home, their resiliency, their intelligence?

As much as I love spotting them in the sky, I wouldn’t be able to contemplate their behavior if it weren’t for Chris’ passion and keen eye. I’m grateful to him for capturing the story as it unfolds, for the privilege of being able to study wildlife behavior up close, to observe them as they cope like any of the rest of us with happenstance, the changing weather, the things we can control and the things we can’t.

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6 thoughts on “Birdwatching: 50/365”

  1. I found your posts about the Bald Eagles in Milford from an article in the New Haven Register. I was saddened to learn their nest was destroyed during that bad thunderstorm that went through our area a few weeks ago. I hope they are able to finish their new nest and bear more eggs this season. (I take photographs as a hobby, but have never seen any of the few Bald Eagles that reside here in CT.)

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    1. Hi Anne! The eagles are rebuilding in a nearby pine tree. It’s been fascinating watching their progress. They seem to be building the new nest quickly; it’s already pretty substantial. They cull branches from the woods, reeds from the marsh, and smaller pine branches from the new nesting site. Chris caught some great photos of them yesterday in the new nest. It’s been debated whether it’s too late in the season for them to lay new eggs. From what I’ve read, nest building takes 1-3 months and breeding can happen as late as May here in the Northeast. So I think we still have a chance of seeing an eaglet this year. I’ll continue to post updates here as we learn more. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! I’m finding myself wanting to make watercolor collage images of Chris’ photographs and perhaps turn them into a little book…

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  2. Tried to drive my 94 year old bird watcher mother by the nest but couldn’t seem to locate it. We drive all around the Boulevard area. Are the Eagles stir nesting, TIA

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    1. Hi Noree! I’ve been meaning to write an update about the eagles. They’ve actually been building two nests a short distance apart. The Audubon has asked that we not reveal the exact location of the primary new nest, but if you’re familiar with their original nesting site, the new nest is very close by. If you drive down Milford Point Road toward the Audubon you can usually see them flying in the morning around 7:30am and in the evening between 5:30pm and sunset. I hope this info helps!

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