As has become our custom, I took a walk with my children yesterday. We went to a nearby park where we had heard sightings of amazing birds, including Bald Eagles. We began our journey walking around the lake, scrutinizing the nearby woods and trees for anything of interest.
The park, being a popular walking trail in our town, was scattered with many other pedestrians doing the same. Several paces in front of us, an older couple was squinting through binoculars into the nearby trees.
It was that couple who pointed out the nest to us. It was the largest, most breathtaking bird’s nest I have ever seen. My snapshot, did it little justice.
“It is a Bald Eagle’s Nest.” The sweet lady commented as we came close. My children gasped in awe of the magnificent nest towering in the tree beyond us. I had never seen a nest so big. According to my Audubon Bird book, Bald Eagles’ build the largest nest in the entire world! It really was breathtaking.
We watched carefully for a bit to see if we could catch a glimpse of the creatures inside the nest, but never saw the eagles.
As we admired the home of the eagles, the sweet older fellow beside her, commented:
“He built his lady a nice nest.”
Without missing a beat, his wife corrected him.
“I think they build it together.”
I smiled at those comments as they unknowingly sunk in my mind. Later, as I pondered our afternoon walk, that image of the amazing Bald Eagle’s nest brought a sense of deep awe, combined with the words of the sweet older lady that “they built it together.”
Eagle’s Nests are Built to be Permanent
Back at home, I looked up the facts of Bald Eagles and their nests in our Audubon Bird book and learned that, yes, indeed, both birds gather sticks to make their nest together. But the female eagle is the one who weaves the sticks together to form a sturdy home.
The nest is not built for a season and abandoned forever. Mr. and Mrs. Eagle build their nest with the intent that it will be the primary place for them to raise their young throughout the years. The nest is built with thought and care, catered to the needs of the eagle family. The nest is build to weather not storms for one season, but storms and seasons for many years.
Both Eagles Build the Nest
I let a sigh escape my lungs. What a beautiful example of teamwork. But even more, the fact that both eagles were needed to build a secure home.
Both eagles gather sticks. That does not mean that mama eagle would choose the same sticks as papa eagle. Or that he would choose the same as her. But both gather the sticks that they perceive will be suitable for the formation of a large, sturdy nest. Not only teamwork, but both eagles have the same goal of building a strong nest. My Audubon book tells me, that the female eagle is the weaver. She will use both the sticks she and her mate have gathered to form a sturdy home for their growing family. The male is more of the protector and provider. One might say that they have a very traditional family life.
Eagle’s Nest Building is Never Done
As the Eagles spend time in their nest, and bring up little ones, the nest needs constant upkeep. Leftover food and droppings are covered with forest leaves, ferns, or moss. The eagles are constantly perfecting and moving the nest sticks around to keep their home in good condition and comfortable. Sometimes, an Eagle will build more than one nest, so there is another place to live when the first nest becomes to dirty. They will move back to the first once nature has cleaned it.
I leaned back to ponder these magnificent creatures that God created. And then then looked around me at the nest my husband and I built together. I see many similarities to my Bald Eagle friends. Both my husband and I are different people. We both have different ideas about what it takes to create a strong, lasting nest. But it takes both our thoughts and opinions, woven together to do the job. Both my husband and I have the same goal, and we both take responsibility for the various necessary jobs in the building of home and raising of family. Teamwork, support, using our gifts, and striving toward the same goal are essential in the making of a strong, lasting home.
But one more thought grasps my mind when I think of the great birds. One more personal, and needful.
That the existence and sustenance of a Bald Eagle would be impossible if that bird had not been created with intent and purpose to work out their God-given nature.
Each bird is also completely dependent on a Greater Provider for life, as seasons come and go and food must also be replenished.
In the reliance on my Creator, is the real lesson for my heart. Without God creating me to be the exact person I was meant to be, I could not do what He has given me to do in life. And without His ongoing provision of all I need to thrive in body and spirit, I could not exists.
“Consider the birds of the air, how they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much greater value than they are?” Matthew 6:26