When we visited my brother and his wife in southern Minnesota, they took us to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha where injured eagles are taken for rehabilitation or retirement, depending upon whether they can be rehabilitated. A fascinating place, devoted to these regal birds.
First on the agenda was to listen to the talk and see the demonstration about eagles, this one a marvelous example of the Bald Eagle. Majestic! Interesting that their personalities can differ so, although I don’t know why I was surprised.
We happened to be there on the day they take a couple of their eagles to the river for a bit of time in the fresh air and the water. Visitors were invited to follow, to watch and to photograph. Of course, we did just that!
The reasons for these creatures need for rehabilitation vary widely, from man-made injuries to accidental injuries to birth defects. Sometimes the modern conveniences of man are risks for the birds. Power lines not navigated through properly can wreak havoc. Men with guns and a warped sense of “fun”, debris tossed into the waterways – there are so many ways we defile nature and cause harm. Fortunately, there are those who care and who dedicate their time to helping to offset some of the damage done.
I think this was the eagle that suffered an eye injury that made it impossible for him to hunt and capture his food, so he would not survive in the wild. He has found a home at the center, where he is fed and cared for with love and respect.
They come to the river two at a time, each getting their turn over time. At the center, they have rooms with perchs and the wall facing the river is all glass, so the eagles inside can see the eagles flying by outside. One of their residents calls to the outside eagles each time he sees them, anxious to be with them again. They rotate the eagles on the perches, so each gets a turn to be by the windows.
And finally, two new and as yet unnamed varieties, happy to be at the center where they are safe and sound. It is a requirement when you visit places like the center to always take advantage of photo ops, and being silly is part of the agreement. Life is good when you have someone to share the silly with.
This final photo was not taken at the center, but was taken this morning in my yard, a demonstration of the vagaries of old Mother Nature. She who felt it was necessary to send us a freeze now that the fruit trees are beginning to bloom and the sprinklers are turned on. A not-so-gentle reminder of who is really in control. Tickling my memory of the reason I quit trying to grow vegetables out in the open – I do not need to court reasons for frustration.
In your life, soar like an eagle!