Those two items are not normally seen in the same sentence or even in the same vicinity; however July 4th brought the two unlikely companions together. It is interesting to note that because bald eagles are no longer listed on the endangered and threatened species list, many of the protections that had been in place, no longer are. So knowing this, as much as I love fireworks for the 4th of July, I actually dreaded what would surely be another explosive performance on our little lake in our unincorporated county because of what might happen, all legally, with our resident eagle family.
Although (legal/safe and sane) fireworks are okay to use for a certain number of hours (someone said it was 3…or maybe it was from 3 in the afternoon until 3 in the morning for a couple days?) in our part of the county, you know there are surely many fireworks that are not ‘legal’ that are expended in celebration for the 4th of July holiday. Legal or not, the fireworks exploded and there was a haze over the lake by sunset. From our vantage point, many of the fireworks looked like they could be landing on top of the eagle’s nest, but that could have been due to the angle we saw them. Our concern grew as did the fireworks displays, and we hoped that the ‘family’ hunkered down for the duration.
The haze lifted the next morning, and we were quite ecstatic to see one adult and the juvenile bald eagle. We felt as though they had gone thru a battle and survived triumphant…how paradoxical that was what the holiday signified and people had celebrated.
I’ll get off my soapbox now, and leave you to view some photos and a wee bit more info. Enjoy!
I love this picture that I took as the eagle headed directly at me, or maybe it caught sight of my indoor-only cat sitting just inside the screen door of the deck?
With the nest, the tree, and what the zoom lens captures, there is no real sense of size in some of these pictures. So below are 2 which might give you a better comparison of the sizes of the adult and juvenile eagle on the nest… (from what I’ve found in my research, eagle wingspan is in the range of 7-9 feet across, eagle height is approx 36 inches for females and 30+ for males…males are smaller than females.)
Below is a series of shots of the juvenile testing out its flight ability. Yet another test run before actually leaving the nest.