Once upon a time when I was in 7th grade, I called my mother to ask if I could stay after school. Not the usual request, I’m sure. However, I had a very important reason. Chicks were about to hatch and they weren’t going to beat the last bell of the day.
Of course mom said yes. I still don’t remember how I got home, though.
At any rate, my 13-year-old brain was mesmerized, spellbound even at the incubator contents inside our classroom. And you’re right, I don’t remember which class or how many hatched. But they did and I had witnessed a miracle.
Previously the closest I’d ever been to animals other than our pet gerbils, (which lived short lives and were buried in cardboard jewelry boxes in our backyard) and our current cat was the occasional visit to a family farm in Michigan. It was there that twin cows were born soon after my sisters in 1964. And yes, the calves were honored with Karen and Kathy’s names.
But I digress.
So today, 47 years later, that incubation watching vigil was what I communicated to my 6th grade class as an introduction to the “nest” best thing to being there. Let it be said now and forever more than even when I am online, it doesn’t mean I’m on Facebook. Recently, my friend emailed me a link for a live bald eagle cam in Iowa.
After I told my exciting (of course) story about my 7th grade experience, I projected the eagle cam image onto our large screen in front of the class. Turns out that the teacher whose room I was in was raised less than 100 miles from the nest location!
I plan to project the eagle cam from time to time because the parents – Liberty and Justice – and tending to three eggs which are due to hatch sometime in April. The 2011 eaglet of Liberty and Justice was named Freedom via an online poll conducted by the company that installed the eagle cam.
“Are they real?”
“Is that all they’re doing just sitting there?”
“How big is the nest?” Really, the question was, “Are we seeing this in its actual size?”
Almost. The nest is 7 feet wide. I’m 5’ tall and told them to add 2’ to my height and flip that sideways to get an idea of how wide the nest is – in real life.
So thanks to the wonders of technology I was able to take my students on a field trip to Iowa to see bald eagles AND it didn’t cost taxpayers a penny.
As I stood in front of the 34 6th graders, I wondered about THEIR family nests. Are the nests strong? Do they have parents or other responsible adults who are visible even if they are JUST sitting there? Are they’re really solid adults in their lives to listen and look past all the obvious questions to make them feel valued?
For a moment, I felt like a mother eagle with 34 eggs. My desire is for them all to hatch “just right.” After all, I can’t wait to see them fly! That’s why I teach.
JOIN US! Here’s the eagle cam link:
(Photos: Google Images)