Remember when you went to YouTube to check on a nest and you could always count on the beautiful bird and its family being there? It was so comforting. And remember the day you checked and that nest was empty? That is what happened to me today when I went back to check on Legacy. She was on the branch at 9:17.
And then she was gone.
Legacy hatched on 8 February. She fledged on the 26th of April. The other egg in the clutch was unviable. Officially she is N24 but a contest was held by the AEF for a name. Legacy is so appropriate. The nest in this tree is where Legacy’s grandparents, Romeo and Juliet, raised their family. Then, after a tragedy, Legacy’s father, Samson, who was born in this very tree on 23 December 2013, returned to raise his family with his mate, Gabrielle.
Legacy has been returning to the nest tree. But today, for some reason, ‘something’ feels different. I hope it is just me out of tune with the world.
Samson thought he might lure her back to the nest with a nice fish around 3:30pm today, the 28th. Legacy was believed to be flying around the nest around 2:45 and Samson thought his little one would be hungry – but she didn’t stop to land on the tree! Flying is such fun.
Samson wound up eating that beautiful fish.
Samson and Gabrielle will stay at the nest, just like Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliet did, for about 30-45 days after their eaglet fledges before going to cooler climates. They will return in September to begin nestorations for the next breeding season.
It would be grand to see Legacy for another week or more. S/he needs to learn to fly and to hone her hunting skills. S/he is not banded. Will we recognize her/him if they return to the nest area in four or five years like her father Samson did? Oh, how I wish Legacy had a Darvin band!
You brought us such joy, Legacy, watching you change from a little ball of grey fuzz to a magnificent black plumed Juvenile. You took care of ‘eggie’ and were an excellent incubator. You helped with nest repairs, always returning to roll your egg and pick up pinecone. At one time we imagined that you would need a little backpack for ‘Eggie and Pinecone’ when you fledged.
You are Samson’s delight.
Fly high little one. Be safe. You beat Avian Pox and grew to be so very, very beautiful and strong. Go out into the world and beat the odds!
Thanks for joining me. I cannot tell you what joy Legacy brought to so many lives. I hope to see her one more time before she begins her big journey of discovery. In the meantime, I hope that all of you will join with me to help Legacy and all the wildlife by writing to anyone who has influence and who will listen – stop the use of lead in fishing and hunting equipment and ban the use of rodenticide. It does make a difference! Give back to these beautiful creatures the joy they have given to us.
Thank you to the NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF for their streaming cam. That is where I get my screen captures.
Note: Samson and Gabby have been up at the tree – it is nearly 7pm and the sun is going down. Like all of us, they hope Legacy will return to the nest tonight.