Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Different Kind of Peep Show

When I was living in New York, one of the big companies (I think the gas company) used to hatch chicks and ducks in the windows of their Manhattan headquarters every year at Easter time.  They were adorable, especially the little ducks, which started swimming in the fake pond within a day or so of their birth.  Of course, to see them required shoving through and occasionally trampling some of the children ranged six feet deep around the show, but why should grade-schoolers have all the fun?

This Easter my cousin Lola told us about a different kind of chick she's been watching lately.  Some intrepid soul positioned a camera near an eagle's nest in Decorah, Iowa, and has been streaming video of the eagles as they hatched and have been raising their latest brood of eaglets.  This year they have three babies, although Lola fears for the health of the smallest chick, which doesn't seem to be getting as much food as its older, more aggressive siblings.

Of course, this nest invasion has revealed grittier things than the New York company's Easter incubators; the adult eagles stockpile large fish and dead rabbits to feed their brood.  On the other hand, we get to watch the parents taking loving care of their young - something those poor orphaned chicks and ducklings never experienced.

“And little eagles wave their wings in gold.” ~Alexander Pope

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