Empty Nest Syndrome

Aki and I are in the Treadwell Woods. Rather than taking our usual course, which gets us quickly to the beach, I lead the little dog up a hill to the eagle’s nest. It had a chick and parent in it last time we visited the woods. It’s empty this morning.

            Trying to be as patient as a heron, I stand beneath the nest tree, watching the wind sway it back and forth like a mother rocking a cradle. Is the sound of wind as comforting to a eagle embryo as the a mother’s heart beat is to human fetus? 

            When no eaglet pokes it head about the woven nest, I give into Aki’s silent plea and let her lead me down to the beach. The place is deserted except for one adult bald eagle. It sits on top of the old mine ventilation shaft, looking down Gastineau Channel. This must be one of the nest minders, now free to do what eagles do: scavenge, hunt, express opinions, and soar. 

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