|Bald Eagle over Forsythe NWR|
“He draws great lines across the sky; he sees the forests like a carpet beneath him; he sees the hills and valleys as folds and wrinkles in a many colored tapestry; he sees the river as a silver belt connecting remote horizons. We climb mountain peaks to get a glimpse of the spectacle that is hourly spread out beneath him. Dignity, elevation, repose, are his. I would have my thoughts take as wide a sweep. I would be as far removed from the petty cares and turmoils of this noisy and blustering world.“
-John Burroughs, Far and Near
I had my life Bald Eagle at Forsythe (Brig) many years ago… I can hardly go there today without remembering that first glimpse of this magical bird.
Where was your first?
9 thoughts on “Lines across the sky”
My first bald eagle was at HAwk Mountain Sanctuary. I’d gone because I knew they saw bald eagles there and this was more than 25 years ago when balds were still rare after DDT. I think I visited 4-5 times, and even saw a peregrine falcon before I saw the first bald. This year at Waggonner’s Gap I had a day with more than 25 bald eagles. Quite a difference.
I think I saw my first from an Amtrak train as it was crossing one of the rivers in Maryland. Even from a speeding train the adult Bald Eagle was big and unmistakeable. My second sighting was at the mouth of a creek at the south end of Alexandria. A bunch of eagles of mixed ages were sitting out on a mudflat.
I wish I could recall specifically where we were, but I was a small child at the time. I do remember we were in Upstate New York visiting family. My grandparents took us kids out for a delightful out-of-the-city journey to see more of the state. With snow on the ground and a chill in the air, my siblings and I warmed right up when we came across a scene of perhaps a dozen bald eagles lounging in the riparian trees surrounding a semi-frozen pond. Brilliant white heads were all that gave the birds away since their dark bodies vanished into the wintry background of naked trees. What a sight!
They were rarer here when I was a kid,even though FL and AK were the eagle strongholds after DDT.
I don’t remember the first one, but I see them weekly almost now, so, thank you Rachel Carson.
Thank you very much.
Interesting, isn’t it, how we can recall the moment and location of seeing a Lifer? The farm fence where I saw my first Bluebird, the turn in the trail where my first Barred Owl once sat perched staring at me, and my first Golden-crowned Kinglet in the brambles at the base of Belvedere Castle in Central Park; each time I pass these locations, I remember the bird I first met there, and each time I see the bird, I remember that location.
My first Baldy was in the middle of the lake in Chincoteague NWR on a gray and blustery day, almost apparition-like through the mist.
Camping as a little guy at Ludington (Mich.) State Park in about 1953
June 4, 2001, Edgewater Park, NJ.
Looking out my kitchen window.
Saw my first on my aunt’s horse farm in Maryland only about 8 years ago, flew right overhead and perched not 20 feet away for quite a while.
Saw my only one at home (suburban NJ) while out for a walk one afternoon, and desperately wanted to show someone, but not a soul to be found.
I saw my first bald eagle in Port Townsend, Wa. Roger and I ran to it, thinking it would be the only one we’d ever see in our lives! Then we discovered that in Port Townsend, we would see them almost everyday. And it was always always always a thrill.
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