After a frustrating day of watching Republican ‘termites’ boring incessantly into the heart-wood of America, I amuse myself by chasing our country’s national symbol and asking if I can take their photograph.
It wasn’t too long ago that these amazing creatures were almost wiped out as a result of DDT. Fortunately, they have made a great comeback. Every time I hear Republicans wanting to do away with the EPA, I think about what might have been. What if this photo were all that remained of our national symbol?
If you live in an area where eagles are not a common sight, let me share a couple of facts. An adult’s wingspan will reach eighty inches (two meters) in length. The head and tail feathers do not turn white until around their fifth year.
The eagle’s voice (or call) is a high-pitched, rapid chirping or trilling sound. For you movie buffs, when Hollywood shows an eagle soaring overhead, they often dub in the sound of a hawk whose call is much more impressive than an eagle’s. (Imagine John Wayne sounding like Truman Capote and you have the gist of it.)
There is (or actually was) a great eagle nest near where I live in Sequim, Washington. I’ve watched the eagles raise chicks in the nest each year. Truth be told, these chicks are ugly. SNARK ALERT: (But unlike Sarah P and Michelle B, these ‘chicks’ will mature into something impressive.)
Eagle parents are surprisingly attentive and doting. Once the chicks hatch, they grow fairly rapidly and the parents have to fish hard to keep up with the young ones’ appetites.
Sadly, the tree that housed the nest fell down this year. The eagles rebuilt about two hundred yards away, but they did not do a very good job. Half the nest has fallen away. Still waiting to see if it they are going to attempt to use the nest. They haven’t abandoned the new nest, but neither have they performed any repairs.
Eagles are in any case extremely resilient and hearty. The one on the left has lost an eye, perhaps to a misguided hunter. I’m told it can no longer hunt since its perspective is now “off,” but it is a survivor. Eagles scavenge a good deal and the one with the injury appeared healthy.
Eagles are also big — sometimes it is hard to appreciate how big until you place it next to something whose size is a bit more familiar.
It was fun (and amusing) watching last year’s “chicks” while they were learning to fly. Lesson 1: Talons will fit around tree limbs. Talons will not fit around a two-by-six. (Not to worry. Nothing was injured but this bird’s pride.)
Eagles do not start out as masters of the air. Angles of approach, wind conditions, are all flying lessons they have to learn the hard way – like the rest of us, I suppose.
They are also loving creatures. This mated pair often watch the sunset together every evening… and have cocktails. OK, OK, they’re watching for food. But work with me here.
That’s it. It is time for me to sail off into the sunset.
Thanks for letting me introduce Sequim Eagles into the rousing political debate. And remember to vote non-Republican — if not for me, (insert sympathetic and patriotic music here)… do it for the eagles.