Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Playing With Your Dinner

Tuesday December 27 2011

The Bates Creek golden eagles are hanging around the area, and I recently saw one of them standing on their nest, presumably adding sticks to it, rearranging the furniture, which is a good sign. Hopefully it means they will nest again in the spring.

Today I saw the pair of them flying above the rim. One of them had prey in its claw. As I watched through my binoculars, it dropped the prey in mid-flight, dove after it, caught it before it hit the ground, and flew up again.

I grabbed my camera, hoping it would happen again - and it did!

The prey is in the eagle's left foot.

As he hovers in the air, he shifts the prey to both feet,

then to his right foot.

then he drops it, and dives after it

He pulls up short because he's getting to close to the ground

and hangs above the ground, either watching his prey scuttle away, or just deciding he didn't really want it.

Off he flies toward the Owyhees with his partner.


  1. Possibly relocating unruly neighbors?

  2. Great shot of the eagle plummeting downward.

  3. Oh! WOW! Merri you are so clever to catch that episode with your camera!!

  4. Amazing photo sequence. What a terror for whatever critter was the prey.

    Incredible creatures, those birds of prey. Truly wonderful skills.

  5. Wow! What a treat to watch and be able to capture with your camera. Weird that he kept dropping the prey, like it was just a game. Must be plenty of food around for them to be able to let one go.


  6. Amazing photography Merri!! I have been watching them all this week too!

  7. Think "prey" was biting back??!