Friday, June 27, 2014

Do eagles grieve?

Parents tend their nest on May 17. 
The nest has been unusually quiet for the past two weeks. Deadly quiet. I stopped by the nest a couple of times between June 9 and 20. No sound. No flapping wings of eaglets stretching. Something was very wrong. There were gaps in the nest area closest to the tree trunk. It looked like a chunk of the nest was gone.

Eaglets on June 9
One neighbor I talked to said he saw both parents making a lot of racket and flying around the nest tree on Father's Day, June 14. It's not unusual for both parents to be at the nest but it's very unusual that they're both so quiet. Watching but none of the vigilance seen last month. Another neighbor asked if the babies might have fledged already. I knew it was too early. The last time I saw them, they still had some fluff clinging to their new feathers. They wouldn't have been ready to fly until the first week of July at the earliest. The parents would be out with them, not sitting at sentry at the nest site. I hope I'm wrong but it doesn't look good for my favorite eagle pair.

Nest tree on June 20

Do eagles grieve the loss of their nest? Their offspring? Nearly half of all fledglings don't survive their first flight. Do the parents keep an emotional distance? Both have been frequently at the nest area, keeping vigil. Or maybe they're making sure that no other eagles take over their territory. When I visited with them yesterday, both were very quiet and in separate trees - papa near where the nest was and mama in their favorite snag nearby.

Papa eagle June 26

Mama eagle June 26
Devoted to each other and to the tree of life. As above, so below.

"That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing." - The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus

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