In 2011 I was able to take close up images of a first year Bald Eagle at Farmington Bay WMA, the young eagle even flew over my head once so close that I could feel the air move under its wings. It posed for me and other photographers and I wrote about this eagle a couple of times and the amazing encounters I had with it and later how I wondered where it was and whether it survived its first year, if it still comes back to Farmington Bay WMA during the winter and if so did it survive the West Nile Virus outbreak we had the winter of 2013/2014 that we had when scores of eagles died. I wish I knew.
But some time ago I was contacted by Brett Ortler of Adventure Publications requesting the use of one of my images of this young Bald Eagle to be used on the cover of a book written by Christie Gove-Berg titled “Esther the Eaglet: A True Story of Rescue and Rehabilitation” to replace the first edition cover.
The first edition cover was a mistake because a Golden Eagle image had been used and Esther the Eagle was a Bald Eagle. First year Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles can be confused by the untrained eye. Now the book Esther the Eagle has a real, wild Bald Eagle photo that I took on the cover. Some editions have my eagle photo on the dust cover and the Golden Eagle on the hard cover of the book, my complimentary copy does. The next printing will have my eagle image on both.
“Esther the eaglet is learning to fly when she falls from her nest. She is alone and injured. Who will help the baby eagle? With real bald eagle pictures, this true story explains how raptor centers and rehabilitation teams rescue and treat injured birds. Their goal is to release bald eagles and other birds back into the wild to live successful, natural lives. Esther’s story is just such a success!“
The book tells the real life story of the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Esther and is written for children in the age range of 6 to 7 years old though younger children would also enjoy having it read to them. I enjoyed it too!
So far in Utah and Montana I have been a part of the rescue of two owls, a Barn Owl and a fledgling Short-eared Owl and in Florida I helped to rescue a Sandwich Tern, a young Northern Gannet and a Double-crested Cormorant so this book and Ester’s rescue touched me personally. Three of the birds I helped rescue were able to be released back into the wild, one will be an educational bird soon and unfortunately the Northern Gannet did not survive its injuries.
I like that Esther the Eaglet is written with children in mind and that it might inspire the children who read it to become rehabilitators, biologists, ornithologists, nature lovers, birders, environmentalists or even bird photographers like myself. They are the future and our hope for nature, birds and wildlife.
Life is good.
PS: I noticed that they cleaned up the mud on the bill of my eagle image before they used it for the cover, you might notice that too. Also, spell check changed Esther to Easter in the title and I didn’t notice that until after I published the post so those of you who get email notifications when I publish might also notice that in your email.