The Old Eagle Tree
In a remote field stood a large tulip tree apparently of century's growth, and one of the most gigantic of that splendid species. It looked like the father of the surrounding forest. A single tree of huge dimensions, standing all alone, is a sublime object.
On top of this tree an old eagle, commonly called "Fishing Eagle," built her nest every year for many years, and unmolested raised her young. What is remarkable, as she procured her food from the ocean, this tree stood fully ten miles from the seashore. It has long been known as the "Old Eagle Tree."
On a warm sunny day the workmen were hoeing corn in an adjoining field. At a certain hour of the day the old eagle was known to set off for the seashore, to gather food for her young. As she this day returned with a large fish in her claws, the workmen surrounded the tree, and by yelling and hooting and throwing stones so scared the poor bird that she dropped her fish, and they carried it off in triumph.
The men soon dispersed; but Joseph sat down under a bush nearby to watch, and to bestow unavailing pity. The bird soon returned to her nest without food. The eaglets at once set up a cry for food so shrill, so clear and so clamorous that the boy was greatly moved.
The parent bird seemed to try to soothe them; but their appetites were to keen, and it was all in vain. She then perched herself on a limb near them, and looked down into the nest with a look that seemed to say, "I do not know what to do next."
Her indecision was but momentary; again she poised herself, uttered one or two sharp notes, as if telling them "lie still," balanced her body, spread her wings, and was away again for the sea!
Joseph was determined to see the result. His eye followed her till she grew small, smaller, a mere speck in the sky, and then disappeared.
She was gone nearly two hours, about double her usual time for a voyage, when she again returned on a slow, weary wing, flying uncommonly low in order to have a heavier atmosphere to sustain her, with another fish in her talons.
On nearing the field she made a circuit around it, to see if her enemies were again there. Finding the coast clear, she once more reached her tree, drooping, faint and weary, and evidently nearly exhausted. Again the eaglets set their cry, which was soon hushed by the distribution of the dinner.
The Old Eagle Tree source - "The Junior Instructor Book 2 - by Beecher (Editor) United Educators (1943).
Wisconsin Bald Eagle and Osprey Surveys 2012
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