Life in the nest - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Life in the nest

Whitewater Valley, MN (KTTC-TV) -- It's another day on Lisa Christenson's journey.

A journey she captures through the lens of her camera.

Nature photographer Lisa Christenson started down this path four years ago.  She was studying the sandhill cranes in the Whitewater Valley, but the small white heads of the bald eagle caught her attention.

Lisa Christenson says, "I heard that faint cry of an eaglet and I said this is cool and I will be back here every day until he flies and i was."

But soon Lisa realized something more was happening in the eagle nest.

"I kept seeing babies coming back into the nest which is unheard of but the babies weren't leaving."

Lisa says these birds aren't only fierce hunters, as most of us have come to believe, but also peaceful loving creatures.

Lisa began her current project in January and has been out to see the eagles nearly every day since then. She documents her stories with the eagle families through pictures and words, even giving them names.

"Dancer's watching me in the tree as I type."

Lisa's been out here for 100 days.  The eaglet or eaglets have hatched and now it's time to watch the family grow.

"Every day is a new story for me, " Lisa says, "and I don't go home until I get my story."

Lisa says she never tires of it.  For her, these birds are more than just creatures of the sky, they've become like family.

"So they're smarter than we think?"

"They are a lot smarter than we think.  They are just the most incredible animal."

Lisa says these eagles recognize her.  She believes they have protected her from harm out in the woods and they have love for each other, just like people.

"To me these eagles have a love bond that is so deep, if us humans could have even half of that I think the world would be a much happier place."

And as Winter turned to Spring, Lisa's journey continued and a new member of the family finally shows up.

"We've got an eaglet showing up right now."

On day 126, we finally catch a glimpse of the small eaglets, now 32 days old.

"We probably missed their morning feeding and now they'll rest and what we've just watched is them waking up."

Some people may not understand Lisa's quest to discover more about these birds, but Lisa says this is the path she's supposed to follow.

"They say eagles are messengers from heaven, " Lisa says,  "and I truly think they are."

These regal birds were once an endangered species, but today the Whitewater Valley is home to at least 20 bald eagles.

Their stories are caught through the lens of a camera, thanks to one curious woman.

Lisa has published four books on her journey with the eagles they are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Lisa also documents each day at her blog, there you can also find copies of her still photographs.

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