Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bald Eagle Sighting

Julia and I headed to Black Hill Regional Park for another pontoon boat ride this afternoon. Since today's event was scheduled for 4:00, Evelyn was able to come, too. The theme this time was bald eagles. All day we girls had been hoping and wishing that we would see one of the park's resident bald eagles . . .. . . and we got our wish! I don't think we had been on the boat for five minutes before I spotted an eagle perched in a dead tree at the water's edge. Without seeing its mate, we couldn't tell if this was the male or female; the two birds need to be next to each other in order to tell the male (smaller) from the female (bigger). Regardless, we were very excited to see a bald eagle, in the wild, so close!
As our boat floated closer to the eagle's tree, it flew off. We spent the rest of our time on the boat learning about eagles in general and the specific eagles that nest in the park. The male has lived here since 2006. He has had three different females as mates - the two previous ones died. There have been two bald eagle babies every year except last year (2010). Unfortunately, one of this year's babies died just last week. The parent eagles stay in the same nest year-round while the babies eventually fly away to make a home of their own.
While cruising around the lake, we kept an eye out for the eagle. We didn't see it again, but we did see a blue heron and this osprey, two other birds with huge wingspans. It was another awesome wildlife-spotting day at the park!


k. said...

I'm so jealous!