It’s certainly an understatement but we’re living in interesting times. It has roughly been a month since I’ve made the decision to quarantine at my family’s residence in Northern Michigan. My wife has been with her family out of the continental U.S. and I felt it was best to be with family too as we all tough out public restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus.
A byproduct of being confined is that I’ve had plenty of time to observe wildlife and avifauna. In particular, I’ve sporadically seen a Bald Eagle couple that resides close to the border of Missaukee and Osceola counties. Being within the village limits of the town of Marion, I’ve seen the couple frequent the local Mill Pond, presumptively on the hunt for fish and other prey.
My first week in Marion, I happened to see the couple in a field just north of town. They were picking over the remains of what looked like road kill before eventually flying off. I assumed they were gathering food before going to their nest. Some locals have indicated their nest is close to the county border and they have been seen over the years caring for an annual brood of eaglets.
Due to the proximity of their nest to the county border, I’ve decided to name them “Missaukee and Osceola,” both names of Native American heritage.
A bit of history: Missaukee is named after an Ottawa chief and may translate to “wide mouth river”, according to some historians. Osceola, also named after a Native American chief, was a Seminole leader who led a resistance when the U.S. tried to remove the Seminoles from Florida. Three states have counties named after Osceola: Michigan, Florida and Iowa. To my knowledge, only Michigan has a Missaukee county.
Recently, I have seen only one of the eagles at the pond perched in trees and soaring above the water. Could one be fishing and hunting while the other is incubating eggs? Perhaps.
A friend thought it might be amusing to come up with nicknames for the couple, so keep checking for updates on “Missy and Ozzie.”
I’ll keep watching for the eagle couple and updating social media when I can.