This appeared yesterday in my Facebook feed from Barr Lake State Park:
It is with great sadness that we have to report that our nesting bald eagle tree fell down. We got a report from a park visitor this morning. Park staff responded immediately to see what had happened. The nest was destroyed and two eggs were discovered underwater. The eaglets did not survive. Park staff retrieved the basket to the nest that was originally put up in a tree in 1986. We will work with our biologist to put the basket back up later this summer in a viable tree.
Barr Lake is about 20 miles east of me, a large (for dry Colorado) lake that is mostly a wildlife refuge. It is a major stop for a great many migratory bird species, as well as habitat for permanent residents as well. Many bird winter over, including a lot of eagles, and there have been 1 or 2 breeding pairs most years. As the report above indicates, the tree holding their nest went down, whether due to wind or rot, I don’t know, and the eggs ended up broken and in the lake. That’s probably it for this season for that pair, although I suppose its possible that they can find another site and lay a second set of eggs. I don’t know how tight the timeline for such activities is.
I love Barr Lake. There’s a path around the entire lake, which is 9 miles. A mile long section of it is close this time of year, to protect the nesting eagles from human encroachment. But falling trees, there isn’t much to do about that. Its a wonderful wild-ish place, with many birds and activity at all times of the year. My goal this year is to get out there once a month to observe the changes. I got out several times last year as well. One of the stabilizing forces for me during the pandemic has been being out in nature, seeing that things go on there despite the challenges and changes in our lives wrought during the pandemic.
And yesterday came a reminder that things can change for anyone at any time. Life is precarious, and so often events seem to proceed in a manner other than what we’d choose. For me, this is a good reminder to live as fully as I can. I don’t know when my own nest might fall.
Two photos from the Barr Lake staff: One, the rangers at the site of the downed tree, and the second, the broken eggs and developing eaglets.
Written for the 2021 Writing from A to Z Challenge. Today’s letter is E.