This nesting season, a new adult male has paired up with Calusa, the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary’s adult female eagle. Bald eagles are a state and federally protected species. They are traditional to their mates and their nest throughout their lifetime. In Florida, eagle-nesting season is October through May. Currently, there are two large eaglets in the nest that should be ready to fledge in a few weeks.
The Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary recently invited the Tommie Barfield fifth grade classes to name the Preserve’s current adult male eagle. Fifth Grade Team Leader, Mabel Pena, directed each student to write a paragraph explaining the name they chose and why. Each fifth grade class voted their choice to be placed on a ballot. Five names were put on a ballot for a collective fifth grade vote. The name that received the most votes was “Herb,” after Herb Savage. The original proposal for the name was from student, Bertha Guzman.
Bertha wrote “Hello! Did you hear about the bald eagle and that we get to name him? Well, in my opinion, I feel he should be named Herb, after Mr. Herb Savage. He was and still is a very important part of our country and community. In other words, he was a patriot, he fought for our freedom, and as you know, the bald eagle stands for freedom. In conclusion, I feel that the bald eagle should be named Herb, after Herb Savage.”
On the 147th day of school at TBE, Herb was officially introduced as the name of the new male eagle at the Nature Preserve. One hundred ten students participated in the challenge and Bertha Guzman’s persuasive narrative won the vote.
Bertha has only seen the eagles via live web cam, and she is looking forward to visiting the Preserve.
In appreciation for the student’s participation in the eagle naming, Carl Way, President of the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary, presented a monetary contribution to Tommie Barfield Elementary for the school’s media center.
Including bald eagles and burrowing owls, the Nature Preserve has 17 species of birds. The Preserve has also been home to gopher tortoises and a bobcat with cubs. The vision for the Nature Preserve is to preserve the land, protect wildlife for future generations, and educate children and adults about the importance of our ecosystems and environment. The Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary is a 100% volunteer, 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. The eagles can be viewed on the eagle cam by visiting www.MarcoIslandNaturePreserve.org.