March SOLC–Day 7
A huge thank you to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for all that they do to create a supportive community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
I often write about how much I enjoy the natural beauty of Maine and my ride to work. My commute is about 25 minutes through the rolling countryside and a couple of small towns of the blink-and-miss-them variety. I’m especially alert these days for anything that might serve as a seed for a slice. I keep my eyes peeled.
This past Friday as I drove to work, my attentiveness paid off! This bald eagle was perched in a tree directly by the side of the road. It’s not at all unusual to see eagles around here, but they are usually flying high overhead. This one was content to linger at his perch as I snapped picture after picture, marveling at his impressive size, his piercing eyes, his hooked beak. After about 10 minutes, I finally pulled away, feeling thankful again for the beauty that surrounds me.What a great start to the day!
FYI: I was inspired to do a bit of research (because, hey! I’m a teacher!). Here are some interesting facts I discovered:
- In 1930 a Popular Science article stated that unless drastic measures were taken, it was likely that bald eagles might only be seen in the future on coins.
- Pesticides, habitat destruction and hunting accounted for most of the population decline.
- By the 1970s there were under 30 nesting pairs of bald eagles in Maine. In 2017 there are over 500 nesting pairs!
- This resurgence in eagle population has a downside as it negatively impacts efforts to preserve other bird species such as loons and cormorants.
- Eagle nests are 4-6 feet wide and may weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
- Mature bald eagles have a wingspan of 5 1/2- 8 feet.
- They can live 15-25 years in the wild.
The bald eagle is the only eagle unique to North America.