We left before dawn. It was a wet, slippery hike up to the plateau from where we were to look for the eagles’ nest. En route we passed through deep forest broken up by clearings where subsistence farmers and their families were living. We would have to get above the deforestation if we were to get into prime eagle habitat. Wood smoke smell filled our heaving lungs as we climbed higher and higher, the day’s humidity already soaring, turning air into water. We got some good birds along the trail: Tawny Grassbird, Pygmy Woodpecker, Mountain white-eye, and a tiny hanging parrot known as the Colasisi. After an hour-plus hike we arrived at the overlook opposite the eagle’s nest. Our guides knew just where to look. Far across a mist-shrouded valley we could just barely make out a mostly grown eaglet on the nest. As we watched through spotting scopes it alternately jumped and flapped its wings, and absent-mindedly preened while waiting for a returning parent.
Bill Thompson, III