Monday, March 10, 2008

Best. Yard. Bird. Ever.



My Yard List has a Bald Eagle on it, does yours?



Hee hee hee.

We actually got two new yard birds yesterday -- the other was a Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). But this immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was the big surprise.

We are sometimes liberal in what we consider our "yard", but if we can see it (without binoculars!) from the kitchen table, there's no question.

This beautiful creature has visited us three times since yesterday afternoon. Twice, he was chased off by a pair of Red-shouldered hawks that persisted in dive-bombing the poor thing. He didn't appear overly worried until the actual body-slamming began.

The hawks looked so tiny next to him. They must have a nest nearby... I've seen lots of Bald Eagles, but have never seen them mobbed by hawks.

The Eagle chased off a Great Blue Heron this morning, before settling onto this perch to be poorly digiscoped. He eyed a large fish lying on the ground (more about this tomorrow), then was in turn driven away by the hawks (with Blue Jay backup).

More on this saga later, including why (I think) the Eagle came to call in the first place.

15 comments:

pablo said...

Envy is such an ugly word for such an automatic reaction in some of your fans.

Lorianne said...

Wow! (Sorry, but I'm too stunned/impressed to say much more!)

Karmyn R said...

Very cool.

We receive visits from the Band Tailed Pigeon in early summer.

LauraP said...

Now that's an awesome yard bird.

mon@rch said...

How awesome for both birds! HIGH FIVE!

Dave said...

Far out.

Ron Sullivan said...

Wow. Just green-eyed blinking astonished Wow.

Congrats! But sorry about the dove.

KFarmer said...

What a wonderful surprise~ and yes, highly envied by me. My Mom sees them on the river from time to time and yes, I envy her too. Looking foward to the rest of the story :)

robin andrea said...

Yes! Great to see your yard bird. The eagles fly over our yard very often. I photographed one just yesterday. It was low too, almost enough for me to make eye contact. But they never stop and sit in a tree. That would be AMAZING.

Randy and Jamie said...

Well not everyone can say they have an eagle come to visit them. That's very exciting!

Eva said...

Wow, I am so jealous!

Ang. said...

How very neat! We have eagles in the winter and they completely fascinate me.

nina said...

Wow, that's a great yard bird--can't think of anything that beats bald eagle seen from kitchen table!!

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody! I couldn't help but gloat a little. :) It was so exciting!

I asked my friend, who's more involved in Audubon, if eagles were nesting in this area. She in turn asked her eagle expert and got this reply: "The breeding eagles are becoming so widespread now that there could be a nest on any Alabama body of water." Yee-ha! We are near a couple of large lakes, so eagles may be increasing in the future. I sure hope so.

And the dove isn't really bad news, I don't think. One source I read said that they use a niche that isn't currently occupied.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We saw a Bald Eagle at the park we frequent just yeaterday. It was the first time my Dearly Beloved had seen one there and only the second time for me. It was very exciting. I would be dancing a jig if I saw one from our garden let alone in our garden.