Experiencing Nature at its Best and Worst

Bald Eagle 010516h copy

Experiencing Nature at it’s best and worst.
I photograph the Eagles at Berry College on a regular basis when I am in town. It offers a great opportunity to not only photograph Eagles fairly close, but even more so to observe and experience nature. Webcams monitor and broadcast not only the Eagles at Berry but many other locations as well. We see the laying of eggs, hatching of Eaglettes, and of course leaving the nest. It is often easy for people to attach human emotions to the Eagles they watch day in and day out. It is easy for some folks to bond with those Eagles as well. I always think back on “The Truman Show” when I see our desires sometimes aren’t always what might be best for the Eagles or other wildlife we observe.
A little over a week ago, the male Eagle returned to the nest. The female, known as Big Mama, usually gets there a couple weeks later. Eagle pairs don’t always remain together during summer months. Well a couple days later a female, other than Big Mama, has been in the nest. She, along with the male, has been doing “nestorations” placing sticks and cleaning up the place, getting it ready for the breeding season. This has a lot of folks really upset, and I can understand their disappointment and fear. What this means is that Dad could bond with this new female and run Big Mama off if and when she returns, and it might mean that Big Mama did not survive the summer. She has had the remains of an injured leg for several years, she functions very well with it, but it could have had an infection or been her downfall. It may not mean she is gone at all, but simply hasn’t returned to the nest yet. Either way, there is a lot of tension among the viewers and followers. I never want to see harm come to any Eagle, but I also have spent a lot of time in nature and I know the possibilities.
That being said, I am going to do what nature intended me to do as an observer…wait and observe. We might have front row seats to one of the greatest parts of nature, the bonding, nesting and breeding of a new pair of Eagles. It doesn’t mean me or anyone else doesn’t hope for Big Mama’s return, but instead we will witness nature at its best and worst. Attaching human emotions to wild animals can be dangerous and hurtful, not for the animal, but instead the viewer. Always know and understand, nature does what it does best whether we are watching it on Webcams or not. I will keep you posted on what happens at the nest. This is an image of Big Mama from earlier this year, and she is an incredibly great looking Eagle.
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Canon 7Dii, Manual Exposure mode, f8, shutter speed of 1/1250th of a second, ISO 800, Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #Sirui

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