The Ides of March.
'Beware the Ides of March' is the soothsayer's message to Julius Caesar, warning of his death from Shakespeare’s Julies Ceasar in 1601. Ever been at the wrong place at the wrong time? While photographing various birds on wing on the dock I just happened to glance up at the sky behind me. There overhead was a pair of eagles, an adult and a juvenile. What I observed next was jaw-dropping for me. But what one poor Osprey endured was even more harrowing.
I see the two majestic eagles soaring overhead above me and start to focus in on them. They are pretty high and silhouetted against the blue sky as they continue over the marsh to the other side of the river. It is apparent the adult is training the juvenile in aerobatic maneuvers as they soar in tandem, flying very close together, swooping up and down along the bank and over the trees. I wish they had stayed on my side of the Broward. They fly up and alight on some branches in the pines on the opposite bank and appear to watch the other traffic on the Broward. An Osprey flies nearby and hovers over the river looking below for signs of fish. All of a sudden the pair of eagles swoop down on the bird and the chase is on. The Osprey is smaller and faster but is outnumbered two to one. The adult eagle seems to be leading the chase as they fly over the river towards me. I am pressing the doohickey like crazy trying to keep them in focus. This Osprey is banking left, then jinks right and tries to loose the two on its tail. It appears almost out of danger from the adult when “Brutus aka Junior” swoops in and decides to give it a try. The Osprey glances back over its shoulder and seems to say “Et too Brutus”. The adult falls back in an observer mode it seems. Brutus the Juvenile does its best to keep the Osprey in its sights but this scared ole Osprey is determined not to be lunch. Again and again it out turns the eagle in its quest for survival. All of a sudden the adult lets out a cry that must tell junior to break off the attack and they end the chase as sudden as it began. It appeared to me I was watching a training session on how to attack and tail prey from the air. Young Junior must have passed its lesson ok and the adult called it off. What about that poor Osprey? No one informed him this was just a practice session. It is probably home sitting on its nest right now with a bottle of aspirin and still trying to recover. Of course I bet its version of the story is a bit more embellished than mine as it recants to its mate the harrowing escape from the claws of two GIANT eagles!The next day I see three Bald Eagles doing similar maneuvers over the Broward. It appears both adults are working with the young one. We all have lessons our parents taught us. Some we remember well, others we may have chosen to ignore at times. I bet that Osprey appreciates the evasive training it got as a young hawk. It came in handy that day on the Broward. For you adults with children, keep up the training, you younger ones remember to listen well. Avoid the aspirin later. Be thankful for the things we have been taught. Be Blessed. Harry