EDITORIAL: Fine-feathered fadeout

York Dispatch

In a world in which streaming entertainment typically means waiting for the next season of "Orange Is the New Black," two unlikely Internet stars captured the county's attention.

Unfortunately, the show is over for the famous Codorus State Park eaglets and their parents. The state Game Commission has turned off the eagle cam as the eaglets have come of age and taken flight.

We were as enthralled as anyone. One of the television monitors in the newsroom was dedicated to the eagles and their naturally evolving drama.

We watched through a snowy late winter and fretted when temperatures plummeted. And remember when Dad temporarily flew the coop? We were among those calling experts to find out where he was and what was going on. Turns out, he was fishing and foraging. Phew.

Then came the first inkling that the little guys were about to make their entrance as one egg and then the next began to crack apart. They emerged into a brisk world, teetering and trying to find their footing.

We watched as their parents did what good parents do: simultaneously protected them and pushed them away to ready their offspring for the world.

We liked it when the siblings tumbled around playfully — and then not so playfully. And we began to worry one might do away with the other.

We kept reminding ourselves, this isn't scripted — it's nature.

In the natural world, you are not guaranteed the story line will wrap up in an especially sentimental or tidy way.

That was evident all those times we saw large fish carcasses being consumed, or when one of the growing eaglets apparently pooped on the camera, obscuring our view.

While the audience eventually faded as the eaglets grew, the exercise was successful.

The camera brought awareness to the importance of the eagles and their natural habitat. It reminded us of the fragility and messiness of life.

The eagles' newfound fame means that it's true what they say about cute and furry animals being a website draw. It also means that more people have been exposed to the importance of the natural world — that the ecosystem humming in the background of our busy lives is immense and wondrous.

Good luck, little eaglets. You had a good run.