The Masterpiece by Javan

The Masterpiece by Javan

We are born into the world like a blank canvas and each person that crosses our path takes up the brush and makes his mark upon our surface - So it is that we develop - But we must realize there comes a day that we must take up the brush and finish the work. For only we can determine if we are to be just another painting or a Masterpiece.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Memory Of Her

Mother Eagle - Photo by Duane Noblick
 I feel so connected to this journey in my life and it is so hard to write about. . I have been following the Eagle cam at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens since March 15th when the third egg hatched. The webcam is pointed at the nest and they also have a moderated chat room. Thousands from all over the world have watched, posted questions about the Eaglets and Eagles - some times as many as 16,500. I always checked this site daily in hopes of seeing them being fed or nurtured and have learned so much - it  became a passion and joy to follow along with these beautiful and precious lives. There are two females and one male Eaglet and on April 21st we all watched them taken from the nest to be banded, weighed, checked and returned to the nest. The parents flew overhead and watched.

On Tuesday morning the Mother Eagle was hunting and was struck by an airplane and killed ... it was one of the saddest days... for everyone. These majestic Eagles touched my heart, and a very large number of other kindred spirits,  in a way I cannot explain.. My heartfelt thoughts go out to all the school children in classes everywhere who were using this cam to learn about Eagles ... and now they also have to learn how fragile life is for wild animals. These majestic Eagles have owned the sky and to think that a man-made machine was responsible is beyond belief. The Eagles were the ones that had to become urbanized to exist to our environment. This tragedy just seems so unnecessary. The father was hunting with her and barely escaped being hit also.  Isn't she majestic?

Photo by Duane Noblick
On Wednesday it was decided to remove the Eaglets from the nest. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries management and other professionals who oversee this nest said, "Without intervention, it is all but certain that one or more of these eaglets would not survive the next three months. Pulling the birds and sending them to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, VA gives them their best chance. The birds are already old enough to know that they are eagles and to recognize their siblings. Maintaining them as a family unit and releasing them together when they are ready to go will certainly improve their survival potential.” I watched as they were removed from the nest.... and was so saddened to see them gone.

Three Eaglets - Photo by Nathan Jones and Tim Nuckols
 After two hours, while watching the empty nest and reading the comments, the male Eagle came back to the nest with a fish. It was the longest and saddest 24 minutes for everyone watching while he looked for her, looked for them and tried to figure out what to do.. he ate a little of the fish and flew away. It was like going to the funeral of a beloved friend and just maybe did bring some closure by seeing him. We know he will be okay and will select another mate and hopefully bring her to this nest next year for us to follow.

The educational quality of this moderated chat was outstanding and the moderators devotion to the Eagles and to us was so evident. The school children's questions were very insightful - I loved this site and I so connected with this miracle of life. Did you know that if you find an Eagle feather you cannot keep it as it is against the law? You have to turn it in. I did not know this until I watched and learned. While there are other Eagle cams, this is the one I bonded with. This Eagle family made such an impression and I will miss them so much. My heart is heavy - tears streaming - Judy C on another journey of life


Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have enjoyed the nestings with the Eagle Cam and greatly saddened. We have a young nesting pair on our mountain - they migrated down from about 20 miles from where they hatched on Gilboa Dam - those adult birds have been there for the past 8 yrs. and their young have nested up in a 10-30 mile area from them. THey are a true symbol of our American heritage

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Cry!!!!!!!!! Oh this is just so sad!!! It truly is amazing how critters bring us so much joy and can bring us so many tears at the same time.
xx, shell

taylorsoutback said...

I just learned of this thankful for places like the Waynesboro facility. We have Marge Gibson who operates the Raptor Center outside of Antigo, Wisconsin, only about 20 miles or so from us. The good work she has done over the years is amazing - rescuing injured birds, rehabilitating, taking care of the and nature can coexsist - we owe our wildlife that much considering all the damage we have done to the planet.

Susan In Texas said...

Oh, I feel terrible! My friend sent me the link to the eagle cam this week and I loved watching them. I wonder if my friend knows? She didn't mention it. At least it looks like the babies will survive; that's the most important thing.

Thanks for sharing,
Susan in Texas

sao said...

This is heartbreaking......

Susan In Texas said...

Many thanks for your kind words about my "busy" quilt. I needed them after the previous comment. 8)

Susan in Texas

Susan In Texas said...

Thanks for your kind words about my "busy" quilt. I needed them after the previous comment. 8)

Susan in Texas

Gretchen said...

A heartbreaking story. I hope the eagles inspire all the children to appreciate, honor, and preserve our wildlife and wild lands.