The Hornby Eagles were the beginning of a worldwide love affair. I believe that April 10th was the first time the whole world got to see into the personal lives of these beautiful, wonderful eagles.
They had been together for years and are known to be 23 years old.
This nest year the eagles were viewed by thousands of people from all over the world.
They were unaware we were watching them, smiling at them, laughing at their antics, recording and creating wonderful music videos as well as beautiful poems and stories.
These two adult eagles were very close. You could see the love and understanding between them in good or bad times.
They stood by each other as two lifelong mates do, through rain, bad winds and hot sunny days, showing us the meaning of how love was in the wild.
It was like watching a movie. The mother eagle would boldly take a stick and put it on her mate’s back to get him to move out of the way so she could sit on the eggs. Then he would go and bring back gifts of moss and sticks to help support the nest. Sometimes he would place moss on her back as a hint that it was time for her to get up so he could take his turn at sitting on the eggs.
This continued daily for weeks as we all watched in awe. Moss and sticks were re-arranged and their two eggs were turned every three hours. As the hatch day approached, we excitedly awaited the arrival of the first baby eaglet.
A spot was seen on one of the eggs. “Oh happy days!” we thought. There were pictures captured of this hole in the egg and people swore up and down that they could see a beak moving.
We waited, only to find out that the egg was not viable and would never produce the beautiful eaglet we had envisioned.Sadly, we watched the eagles dispose of the egg by eating or discarding the shells.
We had become like we were the fathers and mothers of this nest and we now devoted our time, hope and prayers that the second egg would be fine.
We tried not to be disheartened and the eagles continued to deal with their loss by maintaining the nest and sitting on the last egg.
It was with great sadness that we saw the other egg explode beneath one of the eagles. It also was not viable.
We couldn’t believe it.All of us sat there, watching the eagles deal with what had happened.
They slowly walked through the nest, being ever so careful, as if they, too, thought there was an eaglet there somewhere among the sticks and moss.
The father eagle looked down at the mother eagle searching through the nest, making small throat noises as she searched for her baby. We all sat watching with tears running down our faces, filled with so much love for them and feeling their hurt and pain.As she continued to search, digging up the nest bowl, father eagle flew off. You could hear him close by, calling out to his mate.
Mother eagle sat down, tossed her head up and returned the call. Restlessly, she got up, looked around again, ate a small piece of eggshell that she found, tidied the nest and lay down as if the eggs were still there. She looked right toward the camera at all of us, shaking her head back forth as if to say, “This can’t be happening.” I believe she cried that day. In my eyes she was an angel crying over her babies that, this year, were not to be.
The following day, in the darkened sky, just before daybreak, the eagles returned to the nest. They spent some time there, moving nest material around just like they were preparing again for the eaglets. The father eagle waited patiently for his mate for a few minutes then flew off and called to her. She stood at the edge of the nest and, as if undecided, turned and looked at it. She scratched her head, made a small noise and, after one more glance, flew off to be with her mate. You could hear them making beautiful sounds in the distance.
I hope that if and when the eagles return to their nest that they have a successful year in 2007. They will never know the impact they had on thousands of people all over the world, some who now have a new found love for eagles. I have made some really nice, true friends through this and feel blessed to have been a part of this wildlife adventure.
It was educational in that it showed me things I never knew about eagles. I have always been both an eagle lover and an animal lover and would recommend the viewing of a live animal cam to anyone.
The first-time observer would come away with a whole new outlook on and respect for nature along with the knowledge and understanding that humans are not alone when it comes to experiencing happiness and sadness. It’s truly an amazing and unforgettable journey.