Inspiration for Eagles Over Aberdeen
The story of the eagles at Aberdeen is a local story with global implications. A story at once of discovery, resurgence and of rebirth. The discovery of a single nesting pair of eagles, the resurgence of their endangered population and the rebirth of the ideal that we must protect wild things in wild places.
A story that began in the mid-1970’s at a U. S. Army proving grounds in Maryland, when a single nesting pair of eagles was spotted. A scant few more were later identified on the 75,000 acre facility of woods and marshes along the Chesapeake Bay that is the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, some 35 miles northeast of Baltimore. The population of eagles across the nation had been decimated by the reduction of sustainable habitat and the pervasive use of pesticides. The pesticide runoff entered the waters where the eagles would fish and when ingested would render any future eggs too soft to support the weight of the nesting mother in the nest. All this left the eagles relegated to the Endangered Species List as their numbers moved toward extinction. The eagles’ homes were dwindling and their babies were dying. The testing of the explosives by the Army at the gunnery testing range would often ignite wildfires that would further threaten the nesting pair. However, the civilian contractors and Army personnel, who I call the “kindred spirits” of the eagles at Aberdeen, would not allow any harm to come to the aerie. It would be here that a stand would be taken to defend and insure the future of these eagles. At this Department of Defense facility, dedicated to testing the tools our brave men and women in uniform use in the defense of our country, the people there then further committed themselves to defending these eagles. As our forefathers fought to create a free society in a sovereign country, as our troops fight today to defend her, so too these fine people fought to preserve the future of the very embodying symbol of American pride and freedom. And defend they did! Due to the resilience of the eagles and the compassion of those civilian and military personnel, Aberdeen now boasts a population of over 300 eagles, the largest concentration of eagles in any one location in the state.
This song was born of that experience. A story of resurgence that should be played out all across this great nation and everywhere wild creatures yearn to live free: A lesson that we must do everything in our power as guardians of their futures. An acknowledgement and a solemn vow that under our stewardship of the environment we must protect wild things in wild places and the ecosystems and habitat upon which they rely……”Eagles over Aberdeen forever you will fly!”