When we first moved to Florida thirty years ago and visited my husband’s family home on the lake in Frostproof, his parents would take us on walks to learn about the wildlife and the plant life in Florida. We watched an eagle family build a nest in the forested area on Route 630 at the top of Mullinsville Road, a road that terminates in what is now our driveway. The county paved if for the first time this spring. As our son grew from toddler to young boy, the eagles expanded their nest to a platform suitable for a treehouse, or forestry lookout station. Eventually, they moved the nest farther into the trees, no doubt, due to increased traffic on the road. We can no longer watch them delivering food to their young, but they often perch at the top of the oaks in our lakefront and hunt for fish and other prey until the sun turns golden, and the light fades. In the years in which they successfully hatch eggs, the young eagles fly from perch to perch, learning to wheel and turn and dive.
We don’t know how many families of eagles live in the stands of oak and pine along the Lake Wales Ridge, but we like to think our eagle family is among the oldest dynastically. We fear the road paving will encourage development. The farmer may sell the forested grazing land; the local citrus baron may plow under the grove beside it. We hope not. There are plenty of houses for our relatively small population. There will never be enough eagles.
Hope you enjoy the video link below, posted on Facebook by my friend Darlyn Finch Kuhn.