Saturday, December 13, 2008

eagles gather

with the cold northern weather and the freezing of the mississippi upriver, the eagles come every winter. there are areas in our community that have open water all year round which the eagles gather round to fish. and the numbers of the eagles have been increasing! yesterday we spotted a gathering of birds around a deer carcass in a corn field that was so interesting to watch. several of the birds were obviously bald eagles, but we were a little baffled by the others. the size of the birds ruled out most of the raptors and hawks that frequent our area. ospreys are uncommon here and almost exclusively fishing birds; golden eagles would be a most rare sight here, so far from the rocky mountains. we consulted our friend, steve, an avid bird watcher.

he concluded that they were all, in fact, bald eagles. the brown and streaked birds were immature and have not gotten their adult plumage yet. our field guide did not show such variation for the immature eagle, but mark had guessed this. how amazing to see so many eagles gathered for a feast. S took the pictures from the car window, didn't he do a great job?

not a very pretty sight, not the kind of photo you'll enlarge and frame, or put on a greeting card, but we found it so amazing and fascinating...our own backyard wild kingdom!

altogether there were about 10 eagles including the 3 at the carcass, the 4 or more keeping a distance in the field, the several soaring overhead and the ones in the nearby tree.

everyday gift: a majestic and sublime sight


John Clark said...

But oooh so cool!!! I love it!

Amy said...

Okay, that last comment was from me. I didn't realize I was somehow logged in under LM's gmail....but how interesting to know he has some "John Clark" secret identity!?!?!?

Anyway, it's just me. Don't be scared. Now, to go correct all the other messages I've just posted.

rainydaymichele said...

Ohhh! So VERY cool, even if the carcas isn't. ;) Thanks for sharing your pictures, I will have to show them to my C. He will love them!

Marci said...

Great Pictures!!!!