It's All Going to the Birds

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, June 2010 – January 2012]

After a couple of months of being so wrapped up in what’s going on INSIDE the farmhouse with my family, I was amazed, AMAZED, when I went outside for a walk and noticed that the entire yard had gone to the birds…

First off, THANK YOU so very much for all of your comments, good wishes, prayers and advice. I read every single one of the comments, and I feel so supported by you all – and I also am one very lucky gal to have all of you feel as though you could share your experiences and expertise with me. It really buoys me up on those days when I feel like someone has popped my balloon.

Now, for the birds part. When I went outside the other day for some fresh air, I looked to the west of the front walkway, and what did I see?

Seriously. Check this out. They are the same birds you see in the first photo, but up closer. It’s a bald eagle and a juvenile bald eagle. Incredible. Right above our home. Ummmmm. Symbol of strength? Solidity? Just what I needed? Yep. All of that.

But, you say, where is the other parent, if that’s a juvenile? Well, let’s just take a walk to the other side of the field and look back at the house:

Unbelievable. Those eagles are so very large. Much larger that I had thought, and much larger than they appear when they’re flying.

So, I went on my walk, down to the old sugarbeet factory and back – it’s about a mile each way, and settled in for the day feeling really lucky to see these majestic birds that live closeby. Somehow their message of strength and freedom and the fact that they had a little one with them seemed to be something that I could gather strength from. I felt really good, solid and optimistic.

But wait, farmgirls, that’s not all… Later that evening, I went out the front door to get a breath of fresh air again and looked to the southwest —

It’s hard to see at first, isn’t it? Well, here’s a closeup…

I could hardly believe it! A great horned owl, too? AND, to his right, but not in a place that I could photograph it, is its mate. TWO of them!!!

I am so very proud to have a farm where these wild birds can feel safe and at home. There are plenty of rodents, because we have grain storage (ick, but it’s true), and so they are assured of little snacks here and there no matter how bad the weather gets.

And, hey, now that I think of it, we haven’t had any mice at all this winter, but I’m starting to get worried about the new lambs that we are expecting at the beginning of March. Hmmmm…. I guess I’ll cross that bridge a when we get there.

So, here’s to finding strength in nature, and to making a home hospitable to all…

And tell me, have you had any interesting sightings in the natural world lately?

  1. Brenda says:

    What awesome birds of prey! We do have bald eagles in our area in Michigan but I have only seen one ever. We do have very large hawks that fly over often and turkey vultures so I have to keep the chickens in the run unless I am out and about. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pepper says:

    Oh, Libbie, that’s wonderful! I just posted on my blog on Friday about a bald eagle sighting here in Colorado. I saw him again on Saturday too! Must be that time of year. I’ve also been seeing a lot of Northern Flickers in our yard and a Belted Kingfisher nearby. Thank you so much for sharing about your birds. I’m so happy to know that they have a safe home at your house. 🙂

  3. Debbie says:

    How wonderful Libbie! I love the symbolism of the Eagle and family guarding your home! Very powerful indeed…We haven’t had any out of the ordinary nature sightings near or around our home lately… but we’ve been enjoying the birds coming to the feeder that hangs right out in front of my kitchen window. We’ve had so much snow in New England and the birds even come to the feeder when the flurries are flying! Yesterday we took a long warm walk by the Cape Cod Canal.. It was heaven… the smell of the ocean, sea birds all about, and the warm ( 40 degree) sun shining down on calm waters was all we needed to recharge our batteries from a little too much inside time!
    Take good care of all of yours inside and out!
    Beach Blessings,

  4. Donna says:

    How wonderful to see & hear about those eagles. I was driving east to a friend’s ranch here in Montana when I spotted about 8 bald eagles in the old cottonwoods down by the river. Of course, I had to be driving and couldn’t get a picture! Then again, two on the ground and two, a golden and a bald doing acrobatics in the air. Wow, what a beautiful sight to see. We are so lucky because there are people who never get to see such sights in the entire lives.

  5. Maura says:

    Hello Libbie!
    What a wonderful experience to see such a magnificent bird in your own tree! I saw a bald eagle a couple of months ago near our farm here in Kansas…my husband has never seen one in the wild here before. I’m from British Columbia and we have many of them. One spring in BC the radio station reported that people were phoning in reporting that there were over 20 bald eagles hanging around an opening in the ice near the road so we drove over to take a look. By the time we got there there was only one but he was in a tree just above us. He spread his wings and flew off and we were all amazed at how HUGE he was! You just don’t realize what majestic creatures they are until you see them up close. You certainly got a double dose of excitement with seeing the two owls in the evening…what a great day you had! I hope you have a wonderful day…keep warm and stay safe.
    Maura 🙂

  6. Marcie says:

    I love the Bald Eagles and Great-horned Owls. We have seen the eagles flying behind great flocks of wild geese, keeping their numbers in check during spring migrations. The owls used to nest in the lower creekbeds near where we lived back in central TX. I sometimes hear them at night now here in E TN and we have some beautiful White-breasted Nuthatches along with the other backyard birds that come to our feeders. We do love our little bit of nature. I think we all need that in our lives… what a nice reminder that we are creatures of Mother Earth.

  7. Deb says:

    It’s unusual to sight an eagle here in Western Pa, I would love to see one in my backyard. But, unbelievably, as I opened the basement door a few weeks ago something flew past my legs. I thought it was another starling that got into the house somehow. I walked to the kitchen and there sitting on an old ladder hanging from the ceiling was an American Screech Owl! After getting pics(so people would believe me!) I chased him down and caught him and released him outside. Amazing.

  8. Jeannie says:

    Hi Libbie,
    What a wonderful treat for you to see the beautiful birds up close. We have a greathorned owl living in our neighbord here in Colorado, and he is beautiful. He can also send shivers down yourback if you happen outside about dusk and he is sitting in the tree above you and desides do his hooohooo thing. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  9. sue says:

    I have a pair of owls that hunt in my neighborhood. Yep, neighborhood. Huntsville AL in the ‘burbs and we have owls, hawks, turkey vultures and lots of other birds. They make me amazed at how well nature can adapt to any situation.

  10. Elian says:

    Beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Now if spring would hurry and get here.

  11. Janet says:

    Isn’t it wonderful! we saw our first local eagles last fall. they are about 10 minutes from where we live in Akron, OH. Mom & Dad eagles with two young. a boy & a girl. we just drove over there this weekend to see if we could spot them working on their nest. it is my understanding they come back to the same nest each year. Ohio’s eagle population is growing. So happy for you to have both eagles and owls. Keep us posted. It’s a wonderful thing to see something so majestic and pure and i love hearing (and seeing) other peoples encounters…Janet

  12. Breanna says:

    Wow, they are so very beautiful! What a blessing to be able to see all of those birds in one day. God’s creation is marvelous. A few weeks ago I was out at sunset on a trail ride on my horse, blue, and just as we were coming up out of the creek-bed I heard an owl. It flew up in front of us so close that I couldn’t believe it had actually been there. It’s wing-span was incredible! And then I saw it in a cotton-wood tree, with it’s mate, watching us from their steely eyes. Wow! Again, our Creator is an amazing artist.
    Thanks so much for sharing, I love reading your blog! Blessings on you and your family…..Breanna 🙂

  13. drMolly says:

    You are so lucky! I just love to see those "big guys" out and about.
    Just keep your lamby babes under cover & I don’t think you’ll have to worry. Good Luck!

  14. Sarah says:

    Wow..what great birds to have in your back yard! I saw my first bald eagle just this month in N.C. near the Hickory area. (southern foot hills). I also love feeding birds in my backyard. Especially this cold winter. My little dog Mamie’s job is to chase the squirrels and cats away from the feeders!

  15. Genny says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos and your observations. Isn’t it a wonderful thing to have such beautiful birds as residents? Here in central PA we are also blessed to have eagles, horned owl, that sound so neat chordling back and forth on these frigid nights, as well as falcons and ospreys. We live out just far enough and fairly close to a river that they all visit all year. How blessed I feel when I can watch and listen to them. The family of hawks live in the top of a dead tree on the fence row and the chicken fuss every time they fly over. I love it!

  16. Brenda says:

    thank you for sharing I love when I see a rare bird in my backyard lately it has just been wild turkeys and deers in the pasture. But I did see some robins isn’t that they sign of spring.The lambs might draw some attention. Have a wonderful day and keep us up with your world makes me feel like we are friends.

  17. Lianao says:

    We live in Southern California but are blessed to live in the outer most part of Los Angeles, in a little town between Palmdale and Santa Clarita for any of you that know this area. I drive A LOT, as anyone in SoCal does. I have a favorite sighting on my drive to school and back of a family of red tailed hawks, flying and circling and diving. It always lifts my spirits when ever I see them which is just about daily. Also, I see Gray Fox and Coyotes because I have to watch for them so I don’t hit them. They dash in front of the car, in front of me, just at an easy, comfortable clip as though they have no worries. We too are minus the mice we usually see. Thank you, wild animals, for keeping the rodents in check! We heard an Owl on our fireplace in our bedroom late at night, it is such a wonderful sound and always makes us share a smile when we hear them. But the most amazing thing our family has seen in SoCal is a bobcat. He sat on a low wall outside in the garden which was just past our sliding door from our kitchen table. We were eating dinner and I think, maybe what we were having, must have caught his attention, because he sat and watch us the entire meal, though I don’t remember eating much. It spurred a lively discussing and we just watched him watching us. It was great for young children to see that, up close and personal, and still be safe. Wish we have thought to grab the camera but no one wanted to move.

  18. Donna says:

    Great way to lift your spirits anytime. But 2 different kinds in one day what a blessing. I get giddy when the hummingbirds come back to my little kitchen porch. We have an owl who comes by for a couple nights a couple a times a year. Love to hear him or her but would love it more to get a peek. Thanks for sharing and by the way how was the walk?

  19. Donna Hanna says:

    I would love to see eagles at our home here in Texas. We do have beautiful redtail hawks here. We have plans to put up an owl house for next year.

  20. Diane says:

    How awesome to see those majestic birds all in one day! A couple of weeks ago, I heard some crows making all kinds of noise in my back yard. I looked out the window and to my amazement I saw what all the fuss was about. The biggest hawk I have ever seen sitting on my garden shed. He did not seemed to notice the 6 big black crows that were dive-bombing him. He just sat there ignoring them long enough for me to get my camera out. He even stretched out his wings for me. I got a picture of him, just before he took off. I was inspired for the next few days!

  21. Kate Talley says:

    Eagle medicine is powerful, I’m sure you know that. The Lakota believe that seeing an eagle with it’s mate is a message from an ancestor. Which one of your ancestors would want to send you a bit of love, protection and positive power? More than one, I’d bet!
    Love and light to you
    Missing you so so much

  22. Nicole says:

    Wow! Awesome pictures! How exciting to see those birds. Amazing to see them all in one place like that, you lucky girl! – Your fellow blogger, Nicole

  23. cindy says:

    how great is it that so many like-minded women have a place to share an experience like yours.i suppose there are some who would consider all the oohing and aahing over such simple things as "birds" kinda silly..NOT ME! i totally get it.there is a mating pair of pileated woodpeckers living on our place here in northern lower michigan.they are frequent visitors to the suet feeders in the winter and they,too,are magnificent birds.thanks everyone for sharing!

  24. cindy says:

    how great is it that so many like-minded women have a place to share an experience like yours.i suppose there are some who would consider all the oohing and aahing over such simple things as "birds" kinda silly..NOT ME! i totally get it.there is a mating pair of pileated woodpeckers living on our place here in northern lower michigan.they are frequent visitors to the suet feeders in the winter and they,too,are magnificent birds.thanks everyone for sharing!

  25. Barb says:

    Loved your eagles! I always like to sit in the morning and watch the birds at our birdfeeders ….. in the Spring we always see different ones passing by and over the years I am sure they just know a good stop for breakfast! I also look forward to the first glimps of pelicans in the pond by our home. Love to you and your family.

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