My weekend with my cute little niece ended at noon today when I returned her to her dad. We had a really good time and I must admit that I am slightly exhausted from taking care of a very active little 6 year old. Because we didn't have much time today, we took things easy and hung out at home before I brought her to her dad.
After I dropped off my niece, I headed out with my camera to look for bald eagles. The sky was blue and the temperature was perfect, increasing til almost 70 degrees. I was shocked that it turned out to be such a beautiful, short sleeved kind of a day. It was awesome!
I saw roughly 5-6 eagles today and a bunch of hawks. The eagles and the hawks flew separately and also in pairs. I also witnessed two eagles perched together in a tree (I'm assuming a pair). The activity was constant through the afternoon and so fun to watch. I often don't get this much eagle activity when I go out, so it was a real treat to enjoy. Although it was fun to see all this eagle activity and watch this new pair, there is a little sadness in my heart as the female from the pair I've watched for the past four years has been missing since late January. Several of my friends who were out viewing and enjoying this activity today were also sad that it wasn't our regular pair of eagles hanging out.
Watching eagles is magnificent and fun, but when you follow a particular pair for so long, you feel a connection towards them. Some of us have made comments along the lines of them almost being family and we are a bit heartbroken not to have them around. We assume to see the male periodically trying to defend his territory, but don't know for sure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the female we've known and loved for so many years, so please find it in your hearts to say a prayer for her safe return to us. In the meantime, I will continue to watch this new pair and hope to see our old pair together again. Our assumptions are that the eagle on the left is the female and the eagle about to take off on the right is a male. This guy seems to have a dark outline around his eye and so some are trying to call him "Skunk Eye". I don't at all like the name for this beautiful bird and have been defending him all afternoon. Maybe at some point we'll find something to refer to them as, but for now, I'll call them the male and female.