This coming Saturday, January 15, the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota is hosting its 7th annual Golden Eagle Survey. I was hoping to take part this year, but I will be on a plane back to Bangkok. The last time I helped I was responsible for driving through a designated area in Central Wisconsin. Saw lots of hawks and several shrikes, but no eagles. I did, however, manage to run my car into a giant snowbank in the middle of nowhere. No cell signal, just a very dark farmhouse nearby. Visions of Misery and X-Files. Shovel faster. I shoveled it out in about 45 minutes. Who knew some of these Wisconsin backroads only get plowed … HALFWAY?!?! In a snow flurry in a flat, white landscape, that sort of thing sneaks up on you. Um, where did the road just go?
Anyway, in honor of the eagle survey/count, I am posting a gallery of the other eagles I’ve seen in the last year or two here in Wisconsin and even a sort-of-eagle in Thailand. Last year during the survey day, volunteers actually counted 900 bald eagles along the routes! This weekend is also Bald Eagle Days in Sauk City, WI. Thanks to the ban of DDT and the efforts of many volunteers and activists we can say that an eagle sighting is a relatively common occurrence. When I was a kid, it was EXTREMELY rare. I hope to add some Golden Eagles in the next year. Enjoy the photos!
Oh, mighty hunter! Symbol of my nation, Master of… er, is that roadkill? I love the smell of raccoon in the morning, it’s the smell of victory. Hey, even the mighty enjoy an easy meal from time to time.
“Aw, come ON, man! Just a little bite?” This was a funny scene. The eagle bloodying its beak in a dead deer, while three turkey vultures looked on, actually rocking back and forth with temptation and impatience. Every time they got too close, the eagle would pause and give them a look, and the vultures would look everywhere else but at the eagle or the meal. If they could have whistled innocently, perhaps they would have.
This is actually a Brahminy Kite which while not an eagle is at least a member of the same Accipitridae family. My sea eagle shots tend to be of this variety: “No, look there, in the left corner. Yeah, that blackish dot. No, the other one. Yeah, that smear on the blue sky? Yep. Sea Eagle! Trust me.”