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!