26 December 2009

A Christmas Eagle

While walking Bootypants on our trails today, I heard a murder of crows creating commotion in the farm field south of our property. I looked in the direction of the crows and saw something white flying in the distance. As I continued to watch, I realized that what I was seeing was a white tail; I then saw a white head on a dark body and realized that yard bird 103 on our property was a Bald Eagle! I still haven't figured out this digiscoping thing, and the snow and strong winds didn't help. The bird was also quite a distance away, so I had both the camera and scope zoomed in all the way. Below is the resulting photo, which is good enough to document the bird, but not good enough for much else.


There is a deer carcass in the field that I think attracted this eagle (and the crows). At one point, the crows chased the eagle out of the trees; the eagle proceeded to fly directly over our property before flying back to the south into the farm field and eventually back to the line of trees on the west end of the farm field.

8 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

How cool to have a bald eagle. We have several hawks, but have not seen an eagle yet.

Scott said...

Hey Ken. I know that Bald Eagles are becoming more abundant. And I know that people see them at Potato Creek every winter and spring (we've seen them there ourselves). But there was something about seeing this bird actually fly over our property that was more exciting than I would have ever imagined.

Ted C. MacRae said...

I remember making day trips up to Clarksville during the winter to see bald eagles back in the 80s. While not common, they've certainly become less of a rarity. Last year I was dropping my daughter off at school and saw something flying overhead - I studied it carefully and realized it was a bald eagle. I couldn't believe it - a bald eagle flying over my kid's school.

Haven't had the pleasure yet of seeing one in my backyard, though!

Scott said...

Lindsay and I have seen Bald Eagles twice at a cemetery in the town in which I grew up in northeast Ohio. The cemetery is near a river, but it's still a pretty urban area.

Hopefully someday we'll be able to talk about the Whooping Crane the same way.

Steve said...

Very cool! I haven't had a bald eagle since 11/08. I'm jealous.

Scott said...

Thanks Steve. I haven't seen it since that 4 day stretch in December. Nice yard bird, though!

Steve said...

The funny thing is that the very next day after posting the above comment, I was walking across the street in downtown Buchanan at dusk to pick up a pizza, when a bald eagle flew not more than 40 feet over my head. It's funny how things show up when you least expect them to....and yes, I'd consider a Bald Eagle to be a really good yard bird! Are you keeping a "BIGBY" list?

Scott Namestnik said...

Nice coincidence! We were birding in the Dunes a few falls ago, talking about what our next bird would be, and Lindsay said "Ovenbird." "No... Ovenbirds are gone by now," I said. Wouldn't you know it... we turned a corner on a trail not 5 minutes later, and an Ovenbird was in the middle of the trail.

I'm not keeping a BIGBY list. I'm not an annual lister. I keep a life list (jointly with Lindsay... we both have to see it to count it) and a yard list, and lists during organized counts, but that's it.