Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bald Eagle as a Backyard Bird

Having lived in coastal Alaska for 17 years of my adult life, I was accustomed to seeing Bald Eagles, and lots of them. But I never really expected to see one in Berrien County, Michigan, and certainly not in my own yard, but that's exactly what happened this morning.

Stepping out the front door this morning at 8:00 AM for my morning bird walk, I had an adult Bald Eagle fly directly over our house—on Crescent Lake in Buchanan Township—in flapping flight at fairly low elevation headed in a southerly direction. What a way to start the day!

And later, at about 10:00 AM, as I was mulching leaves in the backyard, I spotted a large, dark bird perched in a tree on the north shore of the lake. Viewing it through binoculars, it proved to be an adult Bald Eagle, presumably the same bird. I judge it to be a 4th-year bird based on the amount of dark smudging on the side of the head, especially the traces of a dark eye-line. The bird remained perched there for about 45 minutes before it disappeared.

Acknowledgment: The above photograph is used courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Digital Image Library.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on a new yard bird!

I have had four stages of Eagle in my yard: 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year and Adult, both male and female.

What is fun is seeing the ducks scatter as the Eagle flies from the tall spruce in our yard and soars out across the marsh and river.

On the ridge across the road from where I live, there is an Eagle nest that is only visible when the leaves are off. The nest is in a spruce with the top briken off.

November 17, 2008 11:43 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Neat. There are many eagles year round now in our county (Fillmore). This is new historically. Several visited my woods this spring feeding on a deer carcass.

November 21, 2008 10:13 AM  

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