Baby Golden Eagle Update 7-27-2010


Golden Eaglet Update  July 27, 2010 by Diane Dandeneau

It is official.  I am obsessed.  I have been sitting in Meadow Park, Lyons, Colorado for hours almost every day for the past month watching and videotaping a baby golden eaglet (now named “Goldie”) as she transforms from a scruffy baby into a beautiful youth.   It has been an amazing experience watching her in the nest; and now fledged, as she’s perched on a ledge about 200 feet away.

We (the eagle watchers) believe the eaglet was born with a sibling sometime in May, but she was the only chick to survive.  I started watching her around June 25th.  Goldie was almost the size of the parents with a white head, legs, and black body feathers with white spots all over.  When I came back a week later, her head was black and body more filled in.

Ellen, the park host, said that this was the first year in 3 that the nest has been used. I also heard that this nest is recorded to have been in use for at least 100 years.  It is a perfect spot in the cliff with protection from the sun, weather and predators.  The only downfall, literally, is that the first step is about a 200 foot drop.  The other challenge for the eagles is that Meadow Park is always busy, especially during summer months.  She seems to be doing fine and the parents stay close by, despite the human activity and noise below. We will see what they think about the neighborhood and if they decide to return next year.

I started video taping her on the July 4th weekend.  Based on other reports, Goldie was expected to fly any day,  but my friend and Lyons resident, Jonathan Stacey, an eagle specialist, said she had a couple more weeks to go.

It has been wonderful watching her.  I have hours of video of Goldie sitting, watching and squawking.  Occasionally, she will thrill me with a stretch of her wings or a practice flapping… usually after she poops.  I have one video of her flapping her wings and almost falling out of the nest!  You can hear me shriek, followed by her squawk.

I had a trip scheduled for the weekend of the 22nd through the 25th, so I missed her maiden flight, reported on Saturday, July 24th, around 2:00 PM.  When I returned on Monday I spoke with a gentleman named Patrick, who saw her leave the nest.  He said that both parents were around; one flew into the nest, then out and flew to the ridge to the east of the nest.  Goldie followed and landed on a ledge just below the top.  Patrick reported that one had a fish for her.

It is now Tuesday, July 27th, and Goldie is still in residence in the Meadow Park cliffs (photos and video on my blog).

It has been fascinating for me to witness the interaction between the baby eaglet and the parents.  Goldie would be watching the sky for hours, squawking sporadically.  She would be staring in one direction, squawking intensely. Suddenly one of the parents would fly across the field, with wings tucked then flair to enter the nest.  He or she would drop off some food, quickly leave and land on a nearby ledge. Periodically, the parents would just cruise by, sometimes landing, sometimes not, then fly off.  Jonathan said they would be attempting to wean her to encourage her to leave.  We have been worried, especially with the heat, that she had enough food and water, but mom and dad seem to know what they are doing. Goldie looks fine.

It has been really fun to share Goldie with my family and friends and the many visitors to Meadow Park.  People are curious; they want to know, “what are you looking at?” Most are excited to hear that it is a golden eaglet and are eager to look through my binoculars. (I am sitting in Meadow Park watching her as I’m writing this and she just flapped her wings like she was going to fly. I just got a bit of an adrenaline rush!).

Many people have asked why I call her “she”.  It has been an interesting study in human behavior. First, I just wanted to and wanted to see how many people would ask.  If I had called Goldie a “he”, I’m sure noone would question me. Just about everyone comments, either just asking how I know that she is female, or commenting that they liked it.  I do have another reason: I saw her next to one of her parents and she looked bigger.  Since the females are typically larger than the males, I concluded that she could be female.

I have been blogging about Goldie ( and have posted some wonderful photos from some of the other photographers, as well as some of my videos.  I am editing all the footage, and will be putting together a longer, finished piece.  If you have some photos of Goldie you want to share please let me know.  I would love to add them to the site.  Email me at  Sign up for the RSS feed to get the updates.

Goldie has so inspired me that I wrote a song for her.  The lyrics could also be for all of us who are called to step up to the next great thing in our lives.  The recording will be on my website soon.

Here are the lyrics.

“Fly baby Fly” by Diane Dandeneau © 2010

There is something that looms before you now
Something that’s greater than you’ve ever done before
The time is upon you, and you’re standing on the Ledge
Are you ready, to take that Step?

You’ve been preparing for this all your life
The stars are shining on you and perfectly aligned
Follow your heart, and you will know how to begin
For it is time to trust the wind.


Fly baby fly.  Where you belong is up in the sky.
If you stay here you’ll (surely) die.
For you were born, you were born to fly.

It’s a long way down and I’m sure you are afraid.
So this is the time you must rely on faith
Remember who you are and what you’re meant to bring,
Look behind you, you have wings


You are loved and you have so much support
And there are many who long to see you soar
For it is through your life that you will inspire
And show us all how to reach higher.

Chorus x 2

Diane Dandeneau is a Lyons resident and is the co-founder of the Green Heart Institute. She is now the Chair of the Lyons Sustainable Futures Commission.  It is her love of nature that inspires her work and life. Diane is now a leadership and personal transformation coach as well as an environmental and business consultant, singer, songwriter, speaker, and artist.

One Response to “Baby Golden Eagle Update 7-27-2010”

  1. Julie Cobb Says:

    Thanks for writing about this and reminding me of the simplicity of life and how much we can learn about who we are from nature. 🙂