Sunday, April 09, 2006

Eagles

I saw a bald eagle fly low over the spruce trees this evening. It was quite close to me and the horses and the late afternoon sun highlighted the white head and tail feathers. I ran to get Matt and the binoculars. The eagle had drifted away from us, down the hill, and was much higher in the air. Then a second eagle joined it. They were circling and gliding higher and then lower. I thought we might get to see the mating ritual, by the way they were spiraling. They came and flew over the barn for a bit, which made me fearful for the cats' sake, before flying away.

It reminded me of my first sighting of a bald eagle, when they were coming back after near extinction in the early 1970's. Our area in northern Minnesota was reported to have some nesting pairs. One day I was canoeing with a friend and we were busy looking in the water for fish and turtles. Something made us look up, to see an eagle flying just over our heads. The breath of its wings must have alerted us, as it was just slowly cruising by. Later, we discovered that a pair made a nest in a white pine on the edge of that river bend. They hatched one chick, and we would often see the little family perched in white pines along that river.

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