Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And in Breaking News

We actually saw a bald eagle this afternoon! How cool is that? A totally impressive sight. He wasn't 20 feet from older daughter, and all the kids ID'd him.

He (younger daughter the naturalist says redder rather than darker means it was a he) evidently tried to hit the chickens who were with the big animals and their new bale of hay, skimming the ground and sending every animal under 200# running for cover. I was concerned for the baby goat until we were able to find him hiding under his momma under a tree.

The crows were giving the big guy the what for. They do that consistently to hawks too. Bawk bawwk baaawk bawk, they say, and fly at them over and over, with different crows taking over as the hawk (or in this case eagle) moves to other territory. Very funny.

They introduced the eagles at the nearby TVA lake over a decade ago, and we do see them once in a great while. I am glad he doesn't hunt here often, and that he'd prefer fish.


El said...

I am so glad to hear your daughter knows (and gladly tells her sibs and parents) which sex the eagle was. That is so cool.

My fave bald eagle story comes from my friend's father-in-law, who lives in Pepin, WI. The eagles are thick as crows up there: it is a wide spot of the Mississippi river and a big nesting area for them. Anyway, he was coming out of his garage and he heard a slapping noise. He looked down his driveway and saw a large (30") northern pike flopping on the asphalt. What in the world? Seems an eagle had dropped it, and was swirling around wondering whether it should come down and get it.

Let's just say Jason's in-laws had a great meal that night.

Dramaw said...

El, that is a great story! I would love to have seen that.

CG, have you ever made homemade wine?

the Contrary Goddess said...

Cool! Maybe I can get an eagle to go fishing with me!

Our thoroughly unschooled kids really do know a lot. The thing is, you never really know what that is because living is the thing, not testing.

And of course we have made wine Dramaw! Well, that is mostly husband, but there isn't much to it. The trick is getting it to stop at wine and not make vinegar!

Dramaw said...

I knew you probably had made wine. We made a batch of Blackberry wine from a kit but we want to make strawberry and watermelon. Do you have any recipes we can use? Our equipment makes 5 gallon batches. 5 gallon bucket and 6 gallon carboy.

Carol said...

How cool to see a bald eagle!

the Contrary Goddess said...

especially one trying to eat my chickens. To go to a park, or a cliff face, or somewhere like that in order to look at all the pretty birdies, well, that is one thing (the pursuit of the exploitive classes even). To see a wild bald eagle in what is essentially your back yard (without a bird feeder even), that's a whole 'nother ball game. Especially when I grew up with the bald eagle being endangered nationwide and non-existent around here.

What I miss now is the call of bob white which I did grow up with but which now is nearly non-existent.

Susan Gets Native said...

To clear up some misinformation:
Male and female bald eagles (and most other raptors, for that matter) are sexually dimorphic only in size. American kestrels are really the only raptor that can be sexed by color (the male has a blue-gray wash to his wings, the female is rusty).
One accurate way to tell gender in raptors is by size. The female is usually up to 25% larger than the male. Of course, if they are alone, it's almost impossible to tell.
A juvenile BE will be mottled brown-white, without the classic "brown body, white head" of the adult. You might have seen a 4-year old BE (they don't get their adult plumage for about 5 years). Bald eagles are a dark brown, versus black, so in the sun, they can have a reddish hue.
Anytime you see a bald eagle, it is a celebration. So many people in this country have worked very hard to bring them back from the brink of disappearing. You are very lucky to live near a place that has released them.
I bet I am not too welcome here, but I was looking at some stats and where people are coming into my blog, and it tracked me back to here.
So, there you go. My two-cents worth. Not asked for, but since raptors are my area of expertise, I thought I would attempt to add to the conversation.

the Contrary Goddess said...

yeah yeah, just happened over here, right. We know you hang out. That's ok. Just try to behave yourself better.

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh, yeah, and keep a sense of humor.