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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Eagle Eyes

So we interrupt the scheduled programming today to show you something really cool. The Hubs and I went to Manesquan Reservoir today with the bikes. We had heard there was a bald eagle's nest with two new eaglets to see. We thought sure the zoom on the camera is awesome. Why not?
So we arrived and decided to take a walking into the visitor center first which is set up as almost a wildlife classroom exhibit, if you will. There were specimens and pictures of current NJ wildlife noted in the park as well as some live tanks with specimen fish. There were large bay windows all along the building with bird feeders so you can watch the wildlife up close through the glass to the outside. Our first peer out the window and we saw chipmunks, squirrels, titmouse (a cute little bird), and the lovely state bird, a goldfinch happily munching away at the seed kibble and those on the ground happily munching away on whatever fell from the feeders.
The best part of this trip, besides a 5.2 mile bike ride around the lake, was the display and hi-def telescope set up to view the 2 adult eagles and 2 eaglets in the nest about 1.25 miles across the lake. It was hooked up to a closed-circuit TV monitor so you can sit and watch all of the activities including the hourly feedings to the babies by mama eagle.
What a site folks. I've never seen a bald eagle in its natural habitat. We only had 1, count them 1, nesting eagle couple in NJ by 1980 due to the rapid decline imposed by the use of DDT. We were so amazed at all of the tagged eagles nests across the state now. Roland and I grew up learning about how the bald eagle was almost extinct. To actually see life across the lake thriving and the life cycle continuing on was so satisfying. They had all kinds of pictures posted of when the babies were tagged (an unfortunate part of trying to save a formerly declining species, but it has to be done). They even had a birth announcement when the hatchlings became visible in the nest. There is really a lot of care and dedication to ensuring these two adult eagles, nesting here since 2002, continue to do so.
With that we took to the bike trail. Obviously, since an endangered species is in the area most trails close to the nest have been blocked off. There were signs about every 12 feet or so with restricted area for those dumb folks that would say I didn't see the sign. Um you mean the ones every 12 feet? Riiiiiiight. So we can see the nest from the dam area with the binoculars and I am able to zoom in enough miles away to make out the babies in the nest. We continue to follow the trail. As we ride along the side where the nest was located, Roland comes to a screeching halt and says get the binoculars. On a lone tree branch, just guarding the area, was one of the adult bald eagles, looking stately and regal. From the path, looking up into the tree we were only approximately 100 yards from it. Let's just say I like the zoom on the camera. Blogger kind of shrinks the picture, but trust me as a slideshow on my Dell this baby is clear as a bell and zoomed in.

Here is the nest from across the lake. There are two eaglets inside.
Of other woodland creatures, this site cracked me up. Fat squirrel in a feeder.
There were two or three of this plump groundhogs running around. This one, fat and happy as he was, was content to sit under the feeders.
So my allergy medication kicked in and I officially have medicine head. *Yawn* So sleepy. Ok Ireland and more yarn up next.


At 4:47 PM, Blogger The Kelly Green Rogue said...

how awesome!

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Bea said...

oh wow. So cool.


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