On a cold, windy winter morning on the banks of Overpeck creek I watched as our now famous pair of Bald Eagles worked diligently to get their nest ready to bring forth the next generation of our most magnificent of all raptors.
In those few moments that I witnessed them moving sticks back and forth in an almost fixated fashion I felt a glimmer of hope for the year ahead. As the wind blew and the cold attached itself to my fingers and toes my faith was renewed for the coming year, that not only would these most incredible and spiritual of birds be well, but also that maybe, just maybe, our birds, butterflies and all of our environment would not only survive but also thrive in the days ahead.
After all, in our wildest dreams, in our craziest hopes and imagination, we could have never believed that the Bald Eagle could come back from the brink of extinction, not only to our entire country but as unbelievable as it once seemed to our tiny, urbanized, overpopulated and industrialized part of our very own neighborhood. And by doing so these wonderful birds brought all of us hope for not only the future of the Eagle but also for our own humanity.
If we could save the Bald Eagle, I thought, we are sure to be able to save the Monarch Butterfly, protect the Wood Thrush and the Piping Plover. There is nothing we can’t do when good people join together to do what’s right as they did more than 40 years ago to save what was thought to be a dying species.
As the Eagle pair rested and braved the frigid winds from the protection of their giant nest I had the faith that if we were responsible for helping these birds return to their ancestral homes then there would be no reason why we could not save more trees and streams, protect our meadows and preserve more of our quickly disappearing wildlife habitats.
Growing up it was only a dream to able to see Bald Eagles. My generation, my father’s and the generation before him never had eagles to cherish and protect the way we can now.
I may be naïve and my better judgment just taken over for a moment of optimism by a pair of Eagles, but then again, many scientists believed that no matter what we did we could not ever bring back the Bald Eagle.
So I have to believe by watching our eagle pair that anything is possible, from conquering climate change to getting kids outdoors. From saving our national parks to getting everyone to better understand the wonders of nature we are lucky to have right outside our door.
There is nothing we can’t accomplish when good people from every walk of life join together to do what is right and protect our earth for future generations to come. I know because a pair of eagles told us we can.