Birds of Prey on the Prowl

Today the sun came out and life seemed to come out of the woodwork.  This Bald Eagle flew over my head on my walk to the store.  It was kind enough to pose!

After the store, I walked down to the Willamette River and saw this Red-tailed Hawk land in a tall tree over my head.

But it wasn’t alone!

A pair of hawks checked me out for a bit, sang some songs, and then took to the air.

They soared high over the river and also over the Great Blue Heron rookery I’ve been posting about.  The herons barely even seemed to notice.

Why did this one lower its talons since it was still very high in the air and there was no prey in sight?  According to The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior:

…the male floats down to the female from above and behind, dangling his feet and white thighs.  As he approaches, the female dangles her feet in the same way, and the pair parachutes a few inches apart in a stately descent to a perch near their nest.

Though I didn’t see them descend, they did fly very close together for a minute or two.

Some clouds rolled in and this one turned towards the sun to catch some more rays.

I looked away for a minute.  When I looked up again, a third hawk had appeared!  They slowly drifted over my head back into the woods.

I started hiking back up to my backyard and a couple of minutes later I heard a shrieking sound above my head.  I looked up and saw two Red-tailed Hawks chasing a Bald Eagle back towards the river.  All in all, it was an amazing “Bird of Prey” afternoon.

UPDATE- later in the afternoon, my sons had some friends over. All of a sudden I heard screaming in the backyard and my wife was calling me. TWO bald eagles had flown directly overhead within 100 feet of the ground!

  1. Fantastic post Mike! Thats a lot of Raptor action for one day. Amazing what a little sunshine will do. You caught some great views. The eagles around here have been conspicuous by their absence.

  2. It’s always amazing to see these Beauties up close and in action.
    To get an explanation for whatever they are doing, even better. Now I learned something via your blog 😀
    Lovely shots of all of them!

  3. This is a great, informative post. I know just how difficult it is to get these kind of in air shots, esp. behaviorly significant and revealing ones such as these. And you info was wonderful. I just adore your banner and sight name, too. Everyone is chortling of late that soon, it will be spring. I say “Soon, it will be slug season!”

  4. Oh MY gosh! Thanks for sharing your fantastic birding day. And as always for the Oregon fix (Bill was passing by the computer as your blog came up; he saw your header shot and said ‘Bet I know where this blogger lives!). All your bird shots are terrific — those red tails on the hawk pair really shine!

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