Last year Sue, my friend in Oregon sent me a link to a webcam overlooking an urban nest of redtail hawks, which I revisited frequently as the nestlings hatched, grew and eventually, with some false starts, flew out into the world.
This year Sue has outdone herself, sharing a link to another webcam overlooking a family of bald eagles. The mother, in all her federal glory, presides over a vast nest that needs only some red, white and blue bunting. There are two fuzzy gray babies. You can just make them out, next to Mama's beak.
The eagle family appears on the the Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife website.
Last year's webcam at KGW.com became active again March 28, when a pair of hawks built their nest on the fire escape of an office building in downtown Portland, apparently a favorite nesting spot. When the eggs finally hatched, revealing two cuddly white featherballs, the father showed up with a flowering weed in his beak. "Honey, you did great! I brought you some flowers." The hatchlings' first breakfast: a yummy rat.
It's early to be thinking about Mother's Day, but when I watch these mother birds sitting on their nests and carrying back morsel after morsel of food, or a dog at the Refuge nursing her puppies, I think about how much love it takes to do such boring, tiresome work day after day, only to watch the results fly away with nary a "Thanks, Mom."