Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bald Eagles?

Andrew and I took Oliver for a walk along Bear Creek today. We headed west along the path. Suddenly, I heard a bird of prey shriek! I've never heard anything like it in person before. I started peeking through the trees, trying to locate the source of the sound. Suddenly, I saw a huge bird (probably a six foot wing span). We get a lot of hawks and owls around our home, but this raptor seemed so big.

At first, Andrew wasn't as excited as me to see the bird. He strolled along with Oliver as I ran along the trees. I came to a break in the trees, and I saw the bird fly and drop its prey. The prey was pretty large; I'd guess it to be a prairie dog. Anyway, just then, another bird flew below and caught the dropped prey! It was so neat to see. Then, something very unexpected happened. The first bird changed direction, and I saw its head. I only saw it for a moment, but I could swear it was a white head contrasting against its dark body. A bald eagle!

I yelled back to Andrew, "Andrew, they're bald eagles!" He didn't believe me. We spent the rest of the walk trying to locate them again, to no avail. The more we discussed my bald eagle sighting, the less certain I became. After all, I only saw it for a moment. Still, I wasn't expecting to see a bald eagle, so it wasn't wishful thinking. I consulted the internet and learned a few things. First, as of 2008, there were 51 bald eagle pairs in Colorado. That's right... pairs. That's what I saw. Second, they're almost always found near bodies of water, especially reservoirs. The creek here does have fish, but more importantly, we're about half a mile from two reservoirs. Now, the last bit of information I found tends to disprove my bald eagle sighting claim. Apparently, they typically migrate to Colorado around the end of October. It is early September.

I'll tell you what, though. This lady is going to be keeping her eyes peeled and her camera ready!

Pictured: Oliver & Andrew during our walk and some prairie dogs we spotted along Kipling

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