Thursday, September 13, 2012

Viewing Eagles


Whenever I have an urge to see bald eagles -- not to have a good chance of seeing, but to see -- I drive to Conowingo Dam in Maryland.  They hang out there in great numbers, majestic and lazy, waiting for the people who run the dam to bleed off excess water, which churns out at the bottom of the dam and is rich with stunned and helpless fish.

When I was a boy, I was mad about (along with a hundred other things) birds.  Alas, I almost never saw an egret, a red tailed hawk, or a vulture because DDT, working its way up the ecosystem, had killed most of them.  Bald eagles?  Extinct where I lived.

When the connection between DDT and the extinction of the top avian carnivores was understood, the pesticide was banned and, after a lapse of some decades, the top avian carnivores returned.

Today I'm on the road again.  I have the urge to see bald eagles.  So I'm going to Conowingo Dam, where I will see many.

There's a moral to this, and I think we should all teach it to our children:  It can get better.  All we have to do is identify the problem, pay for the solution, and stay the course.

End of sermon.  Now, if you'll excuse me . . .

I have an urge to see eagles.


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