Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eagle Chat

"Hey. Hey you ... I'm talkin' to ya."


"Yes, YOU Einstein. Let me tell you a little about the Pure Florida eagles."

"Okaaaayy. This is weird though."

"Weird? What's weird is people thinking of condos, beach bodies, and fake magic kingdoms when they think of Florida. They should be thinking of us. We own this place."

" Well, the beach body thing is okay ... Whachu mean ... you own this place?"

" I mean, you are more likely to see a bald eagle in Florida ... over built, over populated Florida, than in any of the lower 48 states. In fact, you'd have to go to Alaska to see more and ... let's face it, that's hardly fair competition ... have you seen how big that state is?

"Now that you mention it, I do see you guys on a regular basis. Why just last week there were 4 of you feeding on a road killed deer. I remember thinking at the time, that eating road kill wasn't good for your noble image ... you know the whole anti-scavenger bias thing ..."

"Yes, we take advantage of easy fast food ever eat at McDonald's?"

"Okay, I see your point."

"Look, I just dropped in to remind you that Florida is THE eagle state south of Alaska with over 1000 nesting pairs. In fact, much of the restored eagle population in the states between Alaska and Florida is due to eagle eggs we donated in the years following the banning of DDT."

I remember reading about the restoration program as a kid in our Weekly Readers and in National Geographic.
Sorry about that whole DDT thing ... Thank God for Rachel Carson.

"Yeah, well, apology accepted. It's more about habitat preservation these days. We need space."

"I hear ya. Then I'll say another Thank God for Florida's efforts to preserve environmentally sensitive lands in the face of developers and a budget crisis...Once it's gone, it ain't never coming back again."

"True ... that last line sounds familiar..."

"Eagles listen to Zachary Richard?"

"Dude ... you know how easy it is for me to soar over to Louisiana? I can listen to fresh Cajun music anytime I want."

"I would have thought you guys were more partial to ... the Eagles ... wacka, wacka."

"We may be amazing raptorial beings, but we haven't evolved a sense of humor yet, so I'm guessing you were trying to be funny ... also guessing you failed."

"Hey, not the first time either! "

" Well, I've enjoyed this little chat, but it's time for me to fly ..."

"Wait! I wanted to thank you Florida Eagles for donating all those eggs to the other states over the years. It made a huge difference. You should take a bow on behalf of your clan."

"Very well then ... You are welcome."


nfmgirl said...

hee hee

They are pretty magnificent, aren't they? My Mom has a breeding pair that hang out in the tree over her house, and I got a picture the other day of a pair on a cell tower by my work. They were chattering up a storm to one another!

Their numbers can't compare to the number of vultures or osprey that I see around, but I see more and more bald eagles all the time.

Florida Beach Basics said...

well done! marge

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Absolutely great post!!!
We love being on Sanibel Island and watching the "Dairy Queen eagles"-their nest is at the Dairy Queen there.(they have good taste,I guess)

elpbulls said...

AWESOME pics!!!! xo

Ark Patti said...

Wow, great pics FC. Now I am so convinced to get your camera. Hope it is partially the camera and not just the photographer. Be proud.
Cool conversation also.

Dani said...

What a beauty!! Great shots FC!

Susan Rose said...


Freste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freste said...

The answer is, "It's almost out. Just a sec."

The question for $1000, Alex is, "When is FC's book gonna be in bookstores?"

Anonymous said...

In Alaska, they say that eagles there are like pigeons everywhere else. I'd didn't realize there were so many in Florida as well.

Great photos!

PS I like Florida a lot better now that I'm seeing it through your eyes. Before all I knew was Disney and beaches, with no particular interest in either.

threecollie said...

Saw one at my mom and dad's house last week....probably hatched from a Florida egg

tsiya said...

WOW, excellent, where did you find that critter?

Lynn said...

I think the eagle is my absolute favorite bird. I rememeber when they were endangered and am so happy to know that they are flourishing now. On the way to school I practically ran into an orange grove to see an eagle feeding on the side of the road. I had NEVER seen that before! Somebody else did something similar on the other side, but by the time we got out, he was gone.

Love the *bow* at the end too. Great stuff.

cndymkr / jean said...

They are such majestic creatures. Thanks for the photos and the story.

Florida Beach Basics said...

FC - did you read my post a few weeks back about the death of The Eagle Lady in Homer Spit Alaska? Here is interesting story about her memorial service . considerable controversy about the practice of feeding wild critters, but the good news for the eagles there this year is that her assistant will be allowed to continue feeding them until March 27, rather than have the feeding stopped abruptly. marge

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done.

Cathy S. said...

Oops. I accidently pushed publish, but that anonymous quote was me.

TROLL said...

There are 3 nesting pairs within 3 square miles of Troll Manor. Rachel Carson? She wasn't QUITE as clueless as Fat Albert Gore, but her books contained numerous errors, a lot of screeching anti-capitalist hysteria, and contained several recommendations that were actually TERRIBLE for the environment.

Deb said...

Amazing...the Minneapolis online newspaper just today reported 872 nesting pairs here in Minnesotarctica. I'm sure your Florida eagles had something to do with their recovery in MN.

I love eagles. I didn't know they had no sense of humor. :)

caroline said...

We've watched the Sanibel Dairy Queen family too! I saw 4 in various places in Rapid City, SD on Thursday. 2 flying over town and 2 perched at Canyon Lake, favorite winter waterfowl can imagine the uneasiness of the local duck population. I had binoculars, but no camera.
I was on my way to school at Lincoln Academy, home of the Eagles.

Love the "take a bow" shot and caption.

robin andrea said...

It's one of the things I miss the most about the northwest. We saw eagles there everyday. Here, not so much. Once last year we saw a pair in southern Monterey County, that's about 120 miles from here. So, it's especially grand to see your eagle. I had no idea that Florida has such a large population, or that they are so talkative. That one's got quite a bit to say. A real charmer.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Florida had so many. We always had a couple in my old neighborhood.

Have a great weekend..........patti

Dr. Know said...

You are a card, FC. (Sorry about the typo "J" last week.) And great pictures, as usual. As for the conversation, however, I think you've been ingesting some very special roadside weeds.

Although I'm guilty of visiting a number of the mainstream "tourist attractions", most of my time was spent in the woods, parks, ferries, blue highways, tidepools, and swamps. THAT is the FL I remember best. Unfortunately, there weren't many "beach bodies" to be seen in such locations.

The rest?

Legions of ravenous carpetbagger developers marching to the tune of "It's A Small World...".

You're not so bad for a Florida Cracker... ;-)

edifice rex said...

Beautiful photos!

Mark said...

Pretty cool. I never saw a bald eagle until my wife and I went to Alaska. And now I learn all we had to do was go down to Florida.

SophieMae said...

WoWoWoW!!! Super AbFab pics! I saw a pair courting the other day. Their aerobatic romance is an amazing thing to watch. Alas, too far for pics.

Floridacracker said...

Wow! Pretty lucky to have eagles so close!

Thanks! I missed that post, but that sounds fascinating.

It's been too long since I've been to Sanibel. I never heard of the DQ eagles!

Just down the road. Love you!

I like to think it's a little of both! :) When I miss a shot it's the camera tho.

Thanks Dani,
I have something Monday I think you will like better.

Thanks. Worth being late for a bsketball game trust me.

That IS the question. Answer, when FC gets off his ...

Your PS is so meaningful to me. That is my goal. Thank you.

I would think you have them around your place too with a river nearby.

About a mile from my house with another one... eating roadkill.

I ran of the road to get this one too! I'm still amazed he didn't fly off.

You are welcome!

Cathy S,
Thank you.

It's not necessary to be saintly perfect to accomplish change for good. It's just necessary to accomplish something. Being human at the same time is allowed. She fired up a generation and drew attention to an ecological and ultimately human health crisis.

Another 10,000 years or so and they will be cracking jokes with the rest of us. Hooray for MN! Those are great numbers!

I emailed the eagle pic to our staff as we are Eagles too! The bow shot ... I suppose something below him caught his attention, but it worked for me!

Funny, because I thought of you as I wrote this post. I was always struck by how often you posted Eagles.

We sure do! I've really seen alot of them this year. Love their calls.

I don't run into too many beach bodies in my swampy travels either. Glad you liked the post.

Thanks. I'm just glad he was in the mood to pose.

Yeah, but Dude ... you went to ALASKA! How cool is that? No pun intended.

Floridacracker said...

I think that means you liked them! :)

Kimberlee said...

Wow! What an "eagle eye" you have!
Sorry, couldn't resist that one. Anyway, GREAT photos! I had no idea that eagles were such conversationalists. :)

S N B said...

Entertaining and wonderful pictures!

Floridacracker said...

Yes, they are actually pretty chatty once you get them going. Could be a southern thang tho.

Thanks, I bet you see a lot of them in your neck of the woods.

ldybug said...

Great post...I read the whole thing, which is something I don't usually do.

Miz S said...


Floridacracker said...


Miz S,
I had a feeling that might be the case for a lot of folks.

Aunty Belle said...


Robert V. Sobczak said...

There's a bald eagle that I always see perched high in a roadside cypress strand on my way into work (near Everglades City). I'm always amazed whenever I see it.

Anonymous said...

Could it be coastline? Most of the eagles I have seen are fishing in the Gulf, up here in North Florida, where wild woods met the surf and I've seen 2 or 3 in one afternoon, perched on navigation markers, enjoying fresh fish.


Alan said...

Alas, they don't hang out inside the city limits of J-ville very often - I mostly only see them at the zoo (rescued pair) or when getting out of the city (which never happens often enough).

Doug Taron said...

>" Well, I've enjoyed this little chat, but it's time for me to fly ..."

Wow, who knew that eagles were into REO Speedwagon? Great photos. And Rachel ROCKS, one of the true environmental heroes and a fine scientist.