From the time my eyes saw this little eaglet for the first time on May 8th, 2006, I was fascinated with him, not knowing how much I would let him in my heart or how much I would love him. I watched, knowing that in the wild, mother nature can be cruel. When Lil One experienced this for the first time, it broke my heart. I was in tears as I watched a much bigger eaglet sibling pecking at him, dragging him around the nest, over the feeding time. The bigger eaglet was determined that Lil One was not going to eat her food. She grabbed him with her beak and pecked at him as the mother eagle stood by not intereferring, as this is the way it is for the eaglets. Only the strong survive. I was sure after this that the smaller eaglet was not going to survive since he was so much smaller than his sister. He was weak and fratricide is a commom thing in a raptor's nest. He would lay there and sleep or peep, having no energy to go after food. I could not bear to watch anymore.
After a couple of days, praying for him to be okay and strong, I decided to look at the cam again. Lil One was up! When the mother eagle brought food and the sister went after him, he got smart, running to the side of the nest where he was sure the mother would give him a morsel. I smiled, knowing that he was going to be okay. Day after day I watched him get stronger, smarter and braver. He was a real trooper and it was amazing how fast he learned. Within three months eaglets have to learn how to go for food, do a nest, preen themselves, poop out of the nest, mantle food and eat on their own. Then they need to practise jumping and flapping their wings in order to strengthen their muscles in preparation for their first flight.
It was both wonderful and amazing to see the closeness that developed between the older sibling and her younger brother. They protected each other in the rain when the parents were gone, used each other for comfort and played together in the nest. It's a journey I will never forget. I love Lil One. His personality and perserverence is one that could not be ignored and, as a result, he captured the hearts of millions who watched his progress. His given name is Sidney. As time went on, I grew to love his sister, Victoria.
I miss them both and pray that they will be safe, have plenty of food, good shelter and eventually carry on to have eaglets of their own. I am truly blessed, along with millions of others, to have witnessed this miracle of nature.
at 7:34 PM