As promised, today my daughter and I went back to check on the eagle’s nest we recently learned about in a nearby town near a pond. On our first visit a few days ago, we spotted the nest, but alas, no eagles.
Today, two days after a ferocious nor’easter, we returned to check on the nest, hoping it would still be there…with its inhabitants. When we pulled in to the parking lot across the street, we saw the nest intact, but again no eagle. As we walked back toward our car, my daughter, ol’ “eagle eyes” herself, spotted the eagle in the nearby trees.
We quickly jumped in the car and drove across the street to the parking lot adjacent to the pond where several bird watchers were standing with their binoculars trained on the eagle in the trees.
After watching the eagle which was perfectly still for about ten minutes, and chatting with the local birdwatchers, it suddenly lifted off the branch it was perched on and flew majestically and slowly across the pond toward its nest. A big “oooh” and “ahhh” went up from the crowd as together we watched the eagle put on its display.
Its wingspread was majestic as it flapped over us, in no hurry, as though it had decided to demonstrate to us just how amazing a bird it is. It landed on the nest and proceeded to do some rearranging or tearing something apart (perhaps some food it had captured).
I didn’t get to see it, but my daughter saw the eagle’s mate pop her head up for a moment, enough to be visible to those with binoculars. The male eagle continued with whatever he was doing, then moments later, again took off. This time he went in the opposite direction, toward the LI Sound, no doubt hunting for food.
At that point we birdwatchers were all chased away by the manager of the motel whose parking lot we were in. This made me sad as we were a quiet group of nerdy birders, thrilled with the eagle’s display, far removed from the actual motel. Why couldn’t he understand our absolute joy in this moment?
I’ve never before seen an eagle on Long Island, much less in mid-suburbia. The ospreys have made a huge comeback in this area since the ban on DDT, but seeing an eagle is equally, if not, more of a thrill because it is so rare. Of course, we’re all hoping we’ll see babies in the spring!