Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Bird-Day!

Tuesday October 17 2006

Yea, sure it’s my birthday this month, but what’s important is – it’s Happy Bird-Day month! Every day is Happy Bird-Day! Birds out the wazoo!

Two weeks ago while out working we saw a golden eagle being chased and harassed by two ravens. The two ravens took turns dive bombing the eagle, and when they got a good peck on him, the eagle squeaked. We could hear him and the squawking ravens even when they were out of sight. I won’t even mention the multitude of red-tailed hawks about the last two weeks, hunting, flying over and checking us out, sitting in meadows, and along one hilltop, 6 hovering motionless concurrently in the updrafts along a hilltop. Northern harriers all over the valley pastures. Three possible goshawks yesterday. Last week we went out to try to rescue an injured eagle. We found no eagle, but obviously acquired many eagle karma points.

Yesterday, we saw 3 golden eagles. One was alone; two immatures were flying together, high above a ridge, up, down, back and forth, close together, further apart, going different directions, coming back together, hanging in the updrafts. It was like they were on a date. Once they came together and tried to grasp talons and spin (I witnessed this once – stunning – a National Geographic moment) but they didn’t get a good grip. This is a method of courtship between eagles. It’s not courting season, so this could have been practice courting between a couple, or siblings from the same nest practicing. We watched them for 5 minutes till they disappeared from our view.

Today we saw 3 more immature golden eagles (different area). One alone, later another one – joined by a second one. They flew around together, apart, together, going higher and higher, thousands of feet up till they were a speck even in my binoculars.

All these eagles pretty much make up for the lack of bear sightings this year! What’s next?!

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