A morning ritual that I started at the beginning of the pandemic is to check in on my feathered friends via bird cams, while I sip my coffee. In an earlier blog post, I shared about weaving the prayer of gratitude into my Cornell Live Bird Cam birdwatching. I have continued this birding-nerding into 2021, checking on the bird cams, taking screenshots, identifying birds, etc.
This spring I was able to enjoy an “up close and personal” view of many baby birds begin their wobbly lives, grow stronger, and leave the nest. I learned about The Raptor Resource Project, a non-profit that strengthens raptor populations and educates people about raptors and their habitats. I was so impressed when I saw a devoted eagle parent keeping their eggs warm during a late spring snowstorm, that I decided to add the Decorah, IA North Bald Eagle Cam to my “Bird Feeder” playlist.
Two eaglets hatched and it was fascinating to watch the parents feeding them and keeping a vigilant eye as their babies bobbled around the nest. From March to June, the wee gray, fuzzy, eaglets grew into chocolate pin-feathered juveniles, bored of their nest and ready to fly. First one, and then both youngsters started flying around the surrounding countryside. I felt happy and proud, but I also felt a little sad not to be able to see them in their nest as often. Were the eagle parents glad to have completed this exhausting task? They certainly did not hang out in their kids’ bedroom suffering from empty-nesting as we humans do!
The 2019 U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, wrote a numinous poem about an eagle circling in the sky, purifying the air with its sacred wings. As we journey along our circle of life, in this astonishing interconnected universe, let us call to mind “that we must take the utmost care and kindness in all things.”
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done