Perched above Long Lake, a pair of Bald Eagles swoop in and out of their nest, tending to their curious 4-week-old patchy feathered eaglet. The mom eagle stands watch as dad brings back fresh fish, squirrels, and other snacks to feed their growing baby. It’s a love story, Diana Gigler, who lives near the majestic birds, is sharing with the world, one photo at a time.
“I love their story, and I love capturing the neat moments in their lives,” said Diana Gigler.
Diana first spotted the eagles in June of 2019, as they built a nest about 10 feet from her fence line. They returned a few months later, and an eaglet hatched. Diana started taking photos and posting them to Facebook. However, shortly after birth, a windstorm knocked the eaglet out of the nest. He didn’t survive.
“That was really hard to see. I just felt horrible. He was just three weeks old,” said Diana.
When the eagles returned this year, Diana upgraded her camera and lens and started documenting their journey to parenthood for a second time. About a month ago, an egg hatched, and a light gray eaglet poked its beak from twisted sticks and grass in the nest. With the help of her followers on Facebook, Diana named the eaglet Journey.
“It’s been such a pleasure watching him grow and change so fast. I care about them a lot,” said Diana.
Babies have always had a special place in Diana’s heart. As a NICU nurse for 30-years, Diana spent almost half her life taking care of the smallest and most vulnerable babies, some as young as 23-weeks-old. Even though she’s now retired, that compassion and love transcend beyond the hospital.
“Babies can’t talk. You have to read their body language to figure out what they need. That specialized training has carried over into watching these eagles,” said Diana.
Diana keeps her camera right next to her slider door to snap photos as soon as she sees movement in the nest. She uses a tripod to get the action shots, now captivating an entire community. Diana’s Facebook group, Bluebell Court Eagles, now has more than 600 followers.
“I just hope people enjoy the story about them. That they learn perseverance, keep trying, and feel some hope. Just watching this eaglet gives you hope for the future,” said Diana.
Nature will take its course, and the eaglet will prepare to leave the nest over the next few months. When he takes flight, Diana will see it all through her camera lens and as a mother.
“I’ll miss him,” said Diana.