Bad news, good news
George and Martha are the D.C. area's equivalent to Pale Male and Lola, a nesting pair of raptors in an urban space. Only George and Martha are bald eagles, nesting near the Wilson Bridge. (For those who don't know D.C.: the Wilson Bridge is where the Beltway crosses the Potomac River, just to the southeast of the city. It is not only carries a huge volume of traffic, there is a major construction project to widen it. And when I say near, I mean within 1000 feet--in this picture, the southern tip of that little wooded semi-island all the way on the right-hand side.)
Anyway, this year George and Martha finally laid eggs. Unfortunately, another female attacked Martha and seriously wounded her, making the survival of the chicks uncertain, if they do hatch. That's the bad news. George and Martha make people care about birds, so I do root for them.
The good news--actually the very, very good news--is that there are now enough bald eagles around the Chesapeake Bay that they're getting into territorial fights. That is a great success story and proof, no matter what idiots like Richard Pombo say (R-Asphalt), that the Endangered Species Act works.
UPDATE: At least one of the eggs has hatched, and George is trying to feed the hatchling on his own.
UPDATE II: Poor Martha is healing. Photo below the jump. (Link via Dendroica.)
UPDATE III: Chick dead.
Tags: George and Martha, eagle, endangered species