March 20th marks the first day of spring. However, in Northern Michigan it doesn’t really feel like spring until mid-April or even early May. Spring woodland flowers (like trout lily and spring beauty) may not bloom until a month past the Vernal Equinox. Northern Michigan weather is unpredictable! So, I have a new favorite spring indicator: Bald Eagles. Of course I love spring wildflowers, but I have to wait too long to see them. I also know that even though the calendar says “spring” the weather doesn’t always agree, but this is my break in the clouds, if you will.
Right now, the Bald Eagle pair that nests at the Platte River Fish Hatchery (in Benzie County) has prepared their nest and just laid an egg last night. The incubation period for Bald Eagles is 34-36 days. So now we wait. We can also watch, though–the hatchery has a wonderful, live eagle cam. Click the link below to watch their daily activities, see how they rearrange the nest, what they bring back for dinner, listen to them call to each other, and wait. Wait, for that one (maybe she’ll lay another…) egg to hatch.
Friday, March 17th another egg appeared in the nest! Happy Spring!