Thursday, May 04, 2006

Close Encounters

This is a post from both of us. We started photographing eagles about a year ago. In fact, we bought our new digital camera last June when we realized how much we loved our new hobby of photographing birds. For the past several months we've seen eagles in trees or flying. We had very little opportunity to see them doing any other behaviors. That all changed last Friday. Since then we've been having interesting eagle encounters that we'd like to share with you.
without considering reason or causality, i can report that we have seen quite a few eagles lately doing more than just flying or sitting. the eagles have been seen doing more. we just walk and watch. today we were walking along a very narrow and winding trail on the forested north bank of chimacum creek where it is a tidal estuary of port townsend bay. this is not a civilized path. it requires attention. we usually stop to really look at something, so as not to stumble and fall. RD was slightly ahead of me. we noticed at the same time that not 25 feet to our right, taking off from a fir branch, was a large bird. my first thought was blue heron, as we have seen them many times here. but no! a bald eagle, slightly below our position, flying away. i know they are big birds, but to see one that close is still stunning.we walked on down to the shore of the bay where we watched an (other?) eagle land out at the far reach of a low tide after grabbing something out of the water. it was a crab, which the eagle lunched on while trying to ignore the caws of some very pushy crows. as we watched, a juvenile eagle, no white head or tail yet, coasted languorously overhead. two days ago we checked once again a tree top in fort worden state park that looked like it had an eagle's nest. we had never seen any sign if life there, but even though the angle of view was so steep that we didn't have much hope of seeing anything in the nest, it was part of a favorite walk and we are bird optimists. well! two, not one, but two adult eagles were visible above the rim of the nest. are there eaglets up there? i'm not climbing that tree, but we will visit often to see what we shall see.
Eagle pair in the nest at Fort Worden
so, several days ago we decided to reverse direction walking along the shore because we knew, by observation, that the pair of eagles we saw ahead in or near their nest (at a different nest site) are wary of humans and fly away at our approach. we have many choices of interesting places to walk and can easily afford to change direction. in the few days after this we have seen, what seems to us, many more eagles in many more circumstances and doing more stuff than we have ever seen. it is beyond silly in the modern world to suppose for even a moment that we are somehow being allowed to be privy to more intimate observations, let alone relationships, with a species of bird because we honored what we thought was the privacy of two individuals of the species. yet i am the one who admits to a suspicion that consciousness is non-local.

"something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, mr. jones?"
Click to enlarge, you may spot the nest and one of the pair in an upper tree. This is the nest we turned away from.
I'll just add that my eagle dreams have been stimulated by these amazing close encounters. I said to dpr a few weeks ago that I really would like to see an eagle fish for food out of the bay. Not a half hour after we turned around from our intended minus tide walk, in the interest of not bothering a nesting eagle, we saw this eagle fish out of the bay. It's been like that for the past five days. Every where we look, we're having close encounters with eagles. We keep revisiting logical fallacy and quite frankly we're enjoying every minute of it.

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