- Associated Press - Sunday, September 17, 2017

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (AP) - Freedom. Strength. Dignity. Those are the qualities bald eagles have represented for centuries. Now for the people of Marco Island, bald eagles represent one more thing: hope.

When Hurricane Irma made landfall on Marco Island, its 130 mph winds ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs off buildings and turned power lines into a tangled mess, yet through it all, the bald eagle nest survived.

Marco Islanders are calling it a miracle.


TOP STORIES
Train company claps back at Greta Thunberg over floor pic, notes 'first class' seat
Rand Paul fears impeachment will 'dumb down and destroy the country'
FBI's wiretap of Trump campaign triggered by anonymous call


“For me this is a huge sign of hope, unity and strength,” Lynn Roscioli said. “That’s why this majestic bird represents our country and this island.”

Carl Way, founder and chairman of the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation, an organization devoted to preserving the environment and its inhabitants, said many residents reached out to him after Irma asking about the eagles, and they’re ecstatic to learn that both the nest and its residents are safe and sound.



“The eagles are important to many, many people. I’ve been getting a lot of calls and texts asking about the nest, and everyone is so happy it’s still there,” he said. “For something like that to survive what we went through is just amazing.”

Barbara Breen is one Marco Island resident who’s thrilled the eagles are OK.

“This puts happy tears in my eyes,” she said. “I was so, so worried about our beloved eagles.”

The eagle pair has been an important part of the Marco Island community since at least 2003, according to the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation, and now, just like the rest of the community, the birds are busy rebuilding their lives after the storm.

“The day after the hurricane the eagles were already putting their nest back together,” Way said. “They’re rebuilding, and it gives us hope that we’ll have another successful nesting season.”

The foundation was actually scheduled to install an eagle cam on Sept. 11, but that will have to wait until after nesting season is over in May, Way said.

For now, islanders are simply happy the eagles are there, serving as a symbol of hope, perseverance and a promise of tomorrow.

___

Information from: Naples (Fla.) Daily News, https://www.naplesnews.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide