It's no secret that the Decorah eagles have captured the world's attention, but just how popular are they? They are so popular that almost every major news organization has reported on their activities. There have been more than 32 million page views of the website and at any given time, over 100,000 computers are watching the nest. Fans with binoculars are even flocking to the Decorah Fish Hatchery to watch from a respectful distance as the attentive parents care for their babies.
But why? Some say it's a relaxing break from our hectic lives. Some say it's a reminder of the incredible beauty of nature. Some say it's simply a much needed diversion from depressing news and hard times.
Whatever the explanation, I admit that I am hooked and although I will be both excited and relieved when the parents are empty-nesters, I get the shakes when I realize that my favorite show of this season will be ending in about 12 weeks. I wish there was a support group for people like me. Maybe I can start one if other viewers acknowledge they are hooked too.
So here are some signs you may be addicted to the Decorah eagles:
- Your cell phone becomes a 24 hour hotline for friends and family who have questions or concerns about what the eagles are doing.
- You can use the word "fledge" correctly in a sentence.
- You watch without flinching as a muskrat is disemboweled as part of the ongoing prey buffet.
- Your children plead with you to get off the computer so they can finish their homework.
- You have an uncontrollable urge to speak in baby-talk to your computer screen when the eaglets are eating their lunch (e.g. "Oh you're such a good little fella...")
- You cheer for picked-on little Eaglet #3 when he/she gets in a good head peck on Eaglet #1.
- You haven't watched television for days because you prefer eagles flying to idols singing or stars dancing.
- You bring your computer into the kitchen while you cook dinner because you don't want to miss anything.
- You check the weather forecast for Decorah and worry when it's windy or raining.
If you have done any of the above, you can join the group but we need to come up with a name. Eagle-aholics sounds a little negative. Eagle-Oglers sounds a little creepy. My 12-year-old calls me a Beak Geek -- that's probably pretty accurate.
So to my fellow Beak Geeks, enjoy the next 12 weeks and pray that the NFL labor dispute is resolved so that come August we can all cheer for Philadelphia. (P.S. You are also a Beak Geek if you try to make eagle jokes.)