Cedar Lawn Cemetery: Bald Eagle Update

I was inspired by a recent comment on my post titled Bird Watching in the Cemetery, posted on March 10, 2020 to provide a follow up on the Bald Eagles in Cedar Lawn Cemetery. After my initial visit to the cemetery to locate the Eagle nest, I returned with my husband in early April and we did spot the Bald Eagles. My husband got a great view, as we drove up. There was a lot of activity in the nest, as we believe we witnessed the Eagle parents changing shifts on the nest. Bald Eagle pairs share the nest building, incubating and feeding duties. As both sexes of Bald Eagle look alike (the female is only slightly larger than her mate) it is impossible to say if we were looking at the male or the female.

After our initial spotting, we walked closer to the base of the nest, but by that time, its occupant had settled down and there was nothing to see. We decided to take a turn around the Cemetery, get a bit of air and exercise and then check in on the Eagles one last time on our way back to the car.

As was the case with my previous visit, the cemetery was a hive of animal activity. We saw several Northern Mockingbirds, many of whom decided to pose for me as they rested on the various gravestones. Cedar Lawn seems to have a large population of Northern Mockingbirds, who like a variety of habitats, so long as there is an abundance of shrubs. There are shrubs everywhere, scattered among the plots, so the cemetery is the ideal home.

Woodpeckers are another common site at Cedar Lawn, given the large number of trees that are scattered throughout the property. This visit we saw a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, enjoying some early berries.

And one cannot talk about the cemetery’s inhabitants without mentioning the four-legged varieties. If you decide to cut across the grass, you really need to watch the ground. Groundhogs have found the cemetery a very peaceful place to settle down, resulting in the ground being pitted with holes large and deep enough to break an ankle. While I think nature and humans need to co-exist, I think I can agree with the caretakers that the Groundhogs are making a menace of themselves. In some cases their holes have overturned gravestones.

And, as I have grown to expect, the cemetery’s herd of deer were also present, lounging among the headstones as if this was the most normal place for them to live. I wonder how many generations of deer have been born within the confines of the cemetery. In April, you can see they were still sporting their shaggy winter coats.

Our visit was cut very short, unexpectedly. Despite the open gate, the caretaker drove up to informed us that the cemetery was not open to the public at that time. Only funeral directors were allowed in, due to the newly issued stay at home order. So we rushed back to our car and followed him to the gate, so as not to be locked in. Unfortunately, the Pandemic made it difficult for us to return to the Cemetery for addition viewings of the Eagles last year, but I am looking forward to popping into the Cemetery and checking out the Bald Eagles in 2021.

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