"As John Burroughs once said, 'Knowledge without love will not stick. But if love comes first, knowledge is sure to follow.' It’s our responsibility as parents and teachers to make sure that love comes first."
- David Sobel -
Who am I?
I am bird, see me fly. You've probably seen me around as I tend to hang out with friends and family and am none too afraid of people. Don't get too close though or I will get upset and start squawking. Especially if I am sitting on my nest, don't make me fly off and leave my babies! My mate and I are together for life and we make a good team. He will bring me food when I am sitting on the two to four eggs I have laid. Once my babies hatch they will start flying in a couple of months (8-10 weeks). My nests are usually on top of a pole or dead tree so I can see you coming. If you can, make a nest pole for me in the water. My children will appreciate it when they grow up. Speaking of which, it takes them a long time to mature, usually 3-4 years. If there are no places to build nests my children may have to wait a few years before they start having children of their own.
Where can you find me?
Around water. Any water; fresh, salty, big, small, running, still. If there are fish I will be nearby. Except in the winter when I leave Southern Maryland and fly south to Florida. I return during the first week of March. My extended family can be found on every continent, except Antarctica. We have spread out more than any other raptor, except maybe the Peregrine Falcon.
What do I eat?
Mostly I eat fish. I am well suited for this with toes that can point backwards and barbs that keep slippery fish from slipping out of my grasp. I can hover in place like a humming bird, and dive feet first to catch my dinner. I can even close my nostrils so no water gets in. I can carry a fish that is 14 inches long and weighs over four pounds! Not easily, mind you, but I can. Hopefully an Eagle won't see me carrying such a big fish because he will try to steal if from me. Eagles are lazy. I hate eagles.
What might eat me?
Nothing. I am the queen of the sky, a top level predator. I suppose if I am injured there are furry predators that might try to eat me. I wish them luck.
Cool reasons why I am the critter of the month!