Eagle Eyes

Today the sun was out for a short time, perfect for a walk through the fields with our dogs, Emma and Ruby. In the cornfield below, some bits of corn might still be left, but by now they would be hard to find. Almost all the corn and new shoots of grass have been eaten. The odd bird still flies in to see if anything was missed. The Canada geese flying over this field will probably land in the one to the left, behind the trees, and glean the last grain seeds they can find.

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Watching and waiting are the bald eagles. They keep their eagle eyes open for any bird that can’t keep up with the flock, a bird that is weak or hurt and would be easier to take down.

Four eagles (and a lump that looks like an eagle but isn’t one) have taken up positions in these trees. Great place to sit and survey the whole area. Eagles have excellent eyesight for this kind of  hunting.

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Here is one of the adults in this group. Notice his sharp hooked beak, perfect for tearing meat. He’s keeping a close eye on Emma, but so are we.

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The immature bald eagle below may be the chick of one the adult eagles in this group, but they weren’t telling me. His head is not white yet, nor is his beak completely yellow.

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The ducks that spent a lot of time in this field over the past weeks have left very little to eat. The kernels of corns that were left in the cobs of corn missed by the harvester, are all gone.You may be able to see that the blades of grass are clipped off. That was probably the work of large groups of widgeons. You can see widgeons in an earlier post. The link is https://wordsfromanneli.com/2016/01/11/the-estuary/

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I also saw evidence of crippled or sick birds that the eagles finished off. Just the feathers were left. I could have taken a picture of that evidence, but my camera’s battery died just then and you’ve been spared.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Eagle Eyes

  1. How did you get so close up? My camera zooms in really close, thus the snow photo on my last post. However, it was difficult to hold the camera straight for such a close shot. These photos of the eagles are so cool. I’ve only seen them in the wild once, back in Florida.

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    • We have so many bald eagles in the Comox Valley and they’re used to people. I was standing right under those trees when I took the pictures and the eagles were still there after we came back from a walk all around that cornfield.. I did use the zoom and that’s why my batteries were used up so quickly, but I shot many pictures and deleted the worst (blurry) ones. That’s the beauty of digital photography; it’s not expensive like in the days of film cameras and people like me who always used to take shaky, blurry pictures, can now delete 9 out of 10 and come up with one good one. My friend gave me this Nikon Coolpix P510 and it’s wonderful for zooming in on the subjects. The camera has really good magnification on the zoom (42x [4.3 to 180 mm]), whereas my old camera had 7x or 8x. It makes a big difference.

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  2. Just north of Seattle is the Skagit River which is one of the largest breeding grounds for bald eagles in North America; they come down from Alaska in December and January. The preference is salmon from the river, but apparently they also find small cats and dogs to be quite tasty.

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    • Yes, for sure! People who live on the golf course communities,especially in Washington, have to keep an eye out when they let their little dogs outside unsupervised. I had two eagles in my own yard (not on a golf course) swoop down on my springer spaniel when she was a tiny puppy. I put myself between the eagles and the pup, spreading out my arms to look bigger, pretending to be a big blanket and they came up out of their swooping dive empty-handed. They’d been sitting halfway up in the nearby fir trees and I hadn’t even known they were there. They are opportunists when the salmon aren’t running.

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    • This Nikon Coolpix P510 is what they call a bridging camera, perfect for people like me who want more than a “point and click” but can’t justify the money spent on a more sophisticated camera that I wouldn’t know how to become worthy of. For now, it is the perfect one for me. On a bridging camera you are stuck with the lens that comes with it. You can’t swap it for a telephoto lens, but the one that’s on it is pretty darn good for zeroing in on the subject.

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