Human Birds

March 2017. We all spend too much time staring at screens but this time of year I spend an inordinate amount of time staring at birds on a screen. Not just any birds. The Decorah eagles. I am fascinated that they have been together ten years, raised 25 children successfully and will remain together until one of them dies. I am fascinated that they can slumber with one eye open and sleep through a tornadic downpour. I am fascinated that they take such minute and intensive care with their fragile eggs and chicks and yet are at the top of the predator chain. I am fascinated by their architectural expertise as evidenced by their gigantic nest and I am fascinated by their repertoire as they sing, scream, call and chirp. I am fascinated by their dedication to each other and their family. You might think I humanize these birds and you’d be right. I do. But after a day of absorbing all the inhumane ways humans treat one another, humanizing a bald eagle is a comforting habit to come home to. Even if it does mean staring at a screen.