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