Posted by: hagengreen | April 10, 2011

Bald Eagles

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a bald eagle. It was after I made the move to the great Northwest. I was on a run along the eastside of Lake Sammamish when I heard this high pitch repetitive crying noise. I noticed some other people nearby looking up, and heard the words muttered. There are several lucky spots to find baldies, in particular around north, northeast, and south Lake Sammamish as well as various locations on Lake Washington. I didn’t know it at the time, but I picked a lucky home in Kirkland. There are several families of bald eagles and ospreys in the immediate vicinity. I can hear the reminiscent bald eagle cry on a weekly basis during the spring and through the fall. In fact, they just started making their presence known a few short weeks ago.

You may know what a bald eagle looks like. It’s on the POTUS seal, established by our country’s founders back in the 18th century. It’s also minted on several denominations USA currency. While identifying a baldy is one thing, seeing it in action is another. The bird is amazingly majestic in flight: riding thermals and currents without a flap of its wings. With nearly an 8 ft wingspan for the females, I’ve nearly mistaken this bird for an airplane! The face, always serious, etches into your mind with its stark yellow eyes and beak. And watching this animal pull a fish out of the water and carry it up high to its nest is another sight altogether – one I’ve had the honor to witness only once.

I was listening to a gentleman on NPR who started a bald eagle cam web site in Norfolk, VA. The cam itself is hidden in a tree next to a bald eagle nest. There are a handful of baby eagles roosting with their mother. It is quite the sight. I must admit the babies are ugly compared to a mature eagle. But they’re cute to watch as they flip over and fall over each other. Go take a look for yourself!


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