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Many of us who live along the Shark River have enjoyed the special show from nature of our local eagle pair nesting, feeding, and flying. Again, we are happy to report that a successful breeding season occurred, producing two fully fledged eaglets who left the nest last month. WOW! What a sight and what an amazing family in our midst.
Things did not look so rosy after Superstorm Sandy smashed the Shark River shoreline. When I was fortunate enough to see this pair first return to their nest in late January, their reaction was spectacular. Ma and Pa Eagle were visibly shocked to see half of their large nest missing, supporting tree branches destroyed, and the adjacent tree fallen to the ground. The couple squawked loudly like giant, angry roosters as they repeatedly jumped up and down on the nest edge. Then they flew underneath the nest in tight circles to survey the damage – just like our local residents did in returning to their homes after the storm – shocked at the destruction, wondering what or if to rebuild, and what their housing options were.
Our New Eagle Logo Then, after about a half hour of this depressing inspection, they flew right over my head towards the west, where they had nested years ago. They were gone for a few weeks, I think, and then they reappeared in February and began rebuilding their river home. Not to be too anthropomorphic, but it seemed that they realized they had the best property around, and even with no insurance money from FEMA, they would forge ahead. Great decision! That’s why our Shark River Cleanup Coalition will highlight their perseverance and use their image as a new organizational logo. (although respecting the ten years of service from our great white heron, which we will still use as well).
These amazing eagles rebuilt, fished the heck out of the river, mated and then reared two fat healthy chicks in record time. Watching them feed their family and then encouraging their young to fly and hunt amidst the wreckage and debris in the bay was truly inspiring. These survivors are so symbolic of our area and serve as a model for the continued restoration of our battered watershed. . See photos.
Our thanks to Edward Plaskon for capturing many spectacular photographs with his 800 millimeter lens, as well as the rest of the photography crew who limited the communication and distribution during this sensitive nesting period.
We will be adding more photos of these great national icons, and our native heroes. In the near future, go to our SRCC webpage and click on OUR EAGLES.