A Day with Birds

10:24 a.m. on September 23, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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Friday I took a friend fishing on a local lake in my boat.  We spent the day with large groups of western grebes diving on bait fish.  The occasional white pelican would fly by only a foot or two above the lake surface.  We stopped at a cove to take my dog swimming and there were two adult bald eagles circling overhead.  We watched one nail a jackrabbit on the hill above us.  At the same time 2 common loons started their tremelo nearby. Must have been migrants resting on their way south.  On the way home, we saw many hawks in the air and on power poles, mostly red-tails.  In the fading evening shadows, we had a drink on the deck looking at the Pine Nut Mtns.  A shriek in the yard came from a prairie falcon sitting on the top of the tipi poles. 

1:31 p.m. on September 23, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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This morning on the way to town, a large flock of sandhill cranes on irrigated pasture. 

1:34 p.m. on September 23, 2018 (EDT)
NorthWestWanderer
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That's awesome with the Eagle. I've seen tons but never seen one kill anything. 

11:07 a.m. on September 24, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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It is easy to see bald eagles and osprey fishing.  That makes up most of their diet.  It was unusual to see a bald eagle nail a terrestrial mammal.

1:33 a.m. on September 25, 2018 (EDT)
Gregory Samson @GregorySM
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You really are a lucky fella to see 2 bald eagles in the wild. 

10:22 a.m. on September 25, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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They are becoming much more common Gregory.  When running some good rivers it is possible to see 15 or 20 in a day, every day.  On rivers like the in Washington you might see 50 during the salmon runs.  We have an influx of bald eagles here in Nevada during calving season and now have a festival in Feb called Eagles and Agriculture to celebrate the event.

10:38 a.m. on September 25, 2018 (EDT)
FlipNC
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I often take my solo canoe up to the headwaters of a local lake...pull it (only 30 lbs) over a couple of beaver dams and end up where few else go in the lilly filled portion of the lake.  I make a lame attempt to fish usually and lay back watching my favorite eagle nest and the residents as they fish, and the red winged blackbirds flit around the willows, and the diving birds fishing...and on and on.  Nothing more relaxing...fishing just gets in the way!

Not sure about lucky to see bald eagles - that is one of the success stories of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), now under proposal to be gutted.  But let's save that for another thread.  On the east coast, bald eagles are being found more and more often as the population expands.  They were removed from the ESA listing, but are now protected under their own law as our national emblem.

If you are into history and nature, a tour of eastern Virginia would not be complete without the drive down the Centennial Parkway between Williamsburg and Yorktown - ospreys and eagles everywhere.  Not really the "wild" but a beautiful site nonetheless.

10:53 a.m. on September 25, 2018 (EDT)
balzaccom
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Yep.  25 years ago, you would have never seen a bald eagle in Napa County.  Now it is a regular occurrence near a couple of the lakes.  That's a nice bit of news!

3:48 p.m. on September 25, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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Thanks Phil. I grew up in Maryland and we were on the Chesapeake Bay every weekend.  I loved seeing the duck, geese and swans, but there were no raptors in those days due to DDT and other factors. It makes me really happy to imagine bald ealges on the Centennial Parkway and on the Bay. 

9:53 a.m. on September 26, 2018 (EDT)
Patman
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very cool, love to see such things,

thanks for sharing this!

10:51 a.m. on September 26, 2018 (EDT)
FlipNC
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Ppine the last time I was in your old stomping grounds you couldn't swing a stick without hitting an Osprey... You'd love it.

11:24 a.m. on September 26, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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Osprey are really fun to watch.  I was hoping someone would mention them around the Bay.  I will go to sleep tonight imagining bald eagles and osprey flying around the West River and the Rhodes River in Maryland.  Thanks. 

I the older I get, the more I care about birds. 

Anyone ever try a Christmas Bird Count?

11:56 a.m. on September 29, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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Late last night I was looking up cars, and I had the office door open.  I could plainly hear a Cooper's Hawk quietly squawking.  He probably nailed a quail and was having dinner.  We have at least 250 California quail that live in the yard. 

9:12 p.m. on October 16, 2018 (EDT)
ppine
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Yesterday a kestrel landed on a traffic light on my way back from the barn. 

June 7, 2020
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