For those following SDP regularly, you had to see this one coming. The letter 'B' was a bit too easy for me since I've been following a pair of bald eagles nesting in North Ft. Myers, about 75 minutes south of Sarasota. This is the happy couple, Ozzie and Harriet. I was thrilled to get this shot because they don't spend a lot of time together in the nest. They seem to be doing well and their two little ones (born at the start of 2013) are growing rapidly.
Most of the time, one of the parents stays in the nest protecting the eaglets (although after they were just one week old they were left home alone for short periods of time, presumably while Ozzie and/or Harriet were watching from nearby.) If you look closely to the left of the adult in this shot, you can just barely make out one of the babies standing up. This was taken 9 days ago, and they've grown tremendously since then. The little ones sleep and flop around the nest. And they all wait for the next meal to arrive.
This is Ozzie (I believe) delivering a fish. The nest is close to the Caloosahatchee River, so it's presumed that's where they do most of their fishing. Recently, they've expanded their menu and I've been told they've had a rabbit and even a pigeon (which created a feathery mess in the nest). Between seeing them in person and watching the live webcam periodically, I've noticed they're on a very strict time schedule. How a bald eagle tells time so well is beyond me...but, one arrives to the nest around 2:15-2:30 p.m. and again at 5:15-5:30 p.m. The two adults sit together for a few minutes, then one departs...
soaring high into the sky with one or two quick wing flaps, leaving the other adult to watch the babies. Many times they're not far apart...just roosting on a nearby tree enjoying some alone time, but close even to help provide protection in case there's an intruder and potential threat to the babies.
It's all very fascinating, and I'm not the only one intrigued. I've met lots of nice people visiting the nest. Some are locals, while others have been visiting from Nova Scotia, Atlanta and New York. The common denominator: they're in awe that they can see our national bird nesting in the wild near a fairly busy road and they're all rooting for the two little ones to grow up and become regal adults. If you're not familar with the nest webcam, it provides a live video stream 24/7. Click here to check it out. And, to see other submissions for the letter 'B' from around the world visit ABC Wednesday.