Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
At the end of February I met up with some friends one of them Gordon from https://undiscoverdimagesamongstus2.wordpress.com/ We met up in Oregon in the Klamath Basin region to do some birding. We were hoping to see American Bald Eagles and the other usual winter suspects.
What we didn’t expect was to see 17 American Bald Eagles around and on the first pond we went to!
You know we hit that pond several times while there mornings, and afternoons.
The first morning we were all together was Saturday we rose early and headed to the pond. It was a chilly 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but we saw Eagles. Later that afternoon we went back and saw an Eagle trying to retrieve its prey from the icy pond water.
It missed, but oh, it was so cool seeing it try.
It landed in the water then pulled up and swung around again for another pass.
This time it tried a different approach, and missed again!
Then it just flew away leaving us wondering if this was just retrieving practice?
It was quite exciting and entertaining to watch and one of the highlights of the week-end.
The American Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782.
These magnificent birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate brown bodies and wings.
Rather than do their own fishing, Bald Eagles often go after other creatures’ catches. A Bald Eagle will harass a hunting Osprey until the smaller raptor drops its prey in midair, where the eagle swoops it up. A Bald Eagle may even snatch a fish directly out of an Osprey’s talons. Fishing mammals (even people sometimes) can also lose prey to Bald Eagle piracy.
Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been the Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”
Sometimes even the national bird has to cut loose. Bald Eagles have been known to play with plastic bottles and other objects pressed into service as toys. One observer witnessed six Bald Eagles passing sticks to each other in midair.
The largest Bald Eagle nest on record, in St. Petersburg, Florida, was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6.1 meters tall. Another famous nest—in Vermilion, Ohio—was shaped like a wine glass and weighed almost two metric tons. It was used for 34 years until the tree blew down.
Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.
Bald Eagles occasionally hunt cooperatively, with one individual flushing prey towards another.
Bald Eagles can live a long time. The oldest recorded bird in the wild was at least 38 years old when it was hit and killed by a car in New York in 2015. It had been banded in the same state in 1977.
Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.
Fun Facts gleaned from All About Birds
I will be sharing more images from this trip in future posts. Until then I hope you cut loose a little and have a lovely week-end! 😀
Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.2.1
more to come…