Every day, with my cup of coffee in hand, I click on this website to say good morning to the family of Bald Eagles in Decorah, Iowa.
Thanks to my friend Pam, I’ve been watching them for many weeks. I often check on them several times a day. A webcam fastened to a tree nearby gives me (and anyone else who chooses to look) a birds eye view of this little family.
Their good-sized nest is well constructed in the fork of a big tree not far from a walking and biking path. A circle of larger twigs making a protective rim around the edge. And smaller grasses and straw make softer bedding in the center.
A Great Example of Strong Family Values
There’s a mom and a dad (though I can’t tell who’s who). They take turns hunting and tending three little fuzzy hatchlings. One parent goes hunting and brings back some food, prepares it for the family and then takes its place with the chicks, letting the other fly off.
When they are not being fed, the hatchlings nestle under one of their parents or the other, occasionally poking a beak out or even wiggling loose from their warm, protected feather cave under the belly of a parent.
These birds take their parenting jobs seriously.
They are always hunting, feeding the chicks and cleaning their nest. They coordinate with one another seamlessly. They share roles and take turns with every aspect of child-rearing.
They are fiercely protective of the babies, always looking around to make sure no harm lurks. When it’s raining or snowing, they sit patiently covering the little ones with their warm, water-proof feathers.
When they feed the chicks, they make sure that each of the three gets its share — despite the sometimes rude behavior of the largest, who would take happily gobble down all of the food if it had the chance.
Birds of a Feather – A Close-Knit Family
These birds are patient and responsible and well-organized.
I am in awe.
And being awe-inspired is a great way to start each day.
Do a Little Eagle Watching — No Binoculars Needed
You too can watch the Decorah Eagles. Just click on this link and you’ll get to observe this awe-inspiring family of birds. Notice how their family unit behaves.
Share you’re responses to the Decorah Eagles in the comments below.