Bald Eagles

One of the delights of living here is the ability to see so much wildlife. This morning, bald eagles were putting on a show.

Driving home from caring for cats of friends who are out of town, I saw some large birds flying over the snow-covered country road, near where cattle were feeding on hay tossed onto the snow for them earlier in the morning. Then I noticed the distinctive white heads and tails of a couple of bald eagles. Ravens appeared to be tormenting them. I often see eagles soaring in the valley, especially in spring and late autumn, but I rarely get to see them so close-up. Spectacular birds.

I had my phone handy, so I started taking photos, first through the windshield, then through my open driver’s side window as I slowly approached the telephone pole that made a handy perch.

eagle on telephone pole
One bald eagle is perched on the telephone pole while another flies by just beyond it, a raven – on the right – giving chase.
eagles
The second eagle circles round, approaching the telephone pole perch.
eagles on telephone pole
The second eagle lands without ruffling the feathers of the first.
eagles on telephone pole
They’ve noticed me.
eagles on telephone pole
The one previously resting takes off. That wing span! Those legs and talons! I decide to switch to video mode, and slowly approach the remaining eagle.
After following the flight path of the eagle that flew off the pole with my camera, I came back to the bald eagle still perched there. It leaves when I get too close, flying over the cattle and out of sight, while a third bald eagle watches patiently from a fence post near where the collection of birds – ravens, an eagle, and other smaller birds – are feeding. (The heavy breathing in the background is my Malamute, Conall; both dogs were in the car with me.)

As you can see in the video, there were lots of other birds – ravens and smaller birds I couldn’t identify but likely magpies as most other birds have left for the winter – on the ground, feeding on something. I saw four eagles total, including the one who sat on a fence post near where the other birds were feeding (most visible toward the end of the video). I doubt the eagles would congregate for a meal of hay, so I’m guessing something died in the pasture and the majority of birds were feeding on the carcass.

Life is slow here in the country, but there’s always something going on.

Featured image: bald eagle, National Park Service.

13 thoughts on “Bald Eagles”

    1. I am crossing the Tanana river in central Alaska on a jet boat in 2005 heading to a cabin up Clearwater creek. Suddenly overhead an aerial battle is engaged between a bald eagle and some other raptor. They swoop, they dive, they engage, and separate. At some point the death grip is joined, and they fall to earth and we do not see them rise again,

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Whoa! What a sight! Reminds me of being on a remote lake in the interior of British Columbia with my father, fishing from a small boat. We were drifting close to shore when suddenly there was a kerfuffle in the pine trees lining the shore nearby. Two bald eagles began chasing a juvenile away from a nest, enormous wings of all three flapping in a tight group just above us as they argued, at least one screeching, the parents so intent on pushing their youngster out of the home they didn’t seem to notice us watching, or care.

        Liked by 1 person

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