Friday, July 22, 2016
This photo was taken a week ago and the babies -- now on the cusp of fledgling-dom -- are bigger.
Despite our stated intention of standing guard early in the mornings when both parents head out to fish for their hungry brood of three, so far, one parent is staying on the nest or on the nearby perch.
Apparently, they haven't forgotten what happened last year, a heartbreaking lesson being reinforced by the eagle's presence.
Oh, yes, he was a bastard yesterday, hanging out in the trees on the edge of our property. In both the morning and the afternoon, the eagle hunkered down on a branch, not camouflaged from sight but protected from the ospreys' swooping attempts to drive it away. I felt badly for the osprey, expending so much energy on protecting the babies instead of fishing.
It wasn't until Dwayne and I drove up on the four-wheeler that the eagle flew from its perch and soared away, pursued by the ospreys, and holy mother of pearl, this is one huge eagle. This is the one our neighbour calls Big Daddy. It's hard not to be impressed but I'm no fan of eagles anymore. What makes them magnificent to other observers makes them fearsome predators to me.
The eldest fledgling has started the dance of the about-to-fly, hopping up and down on the edge of the nest and flapping its wings. Our ninth wedding anniversary is less than a week away so what a lovely gift it would be to witness first flight this summer.
We're hopeful that between the parents, and us ever-vigilant humans, this year's babies will survive.