The weather finally cleared today after what seems like weeks of freezing cold weather, fog and snow. Even the animals seemed happy with the sunshine. One eagle was flying into the canyon when I arrived, one was at the nest and I found two more upstream perched in a tree. They were flying from tree to tree, sometimes together and sometimes apart. I could hear them calling one another, and at first I thought they might be upset by my presence. I always try to be as unobtrusive as possible so I went to extra effort to avoid disturbing them.
Joy in the Sky
I was careful not to stay too long at each perch and eventually I figured out that it wasn’t me that was the cause of all the antics. As I drove upstream looking for the other nesting pair, the first pair wound up following me! I had gotten to the end of the road and all of a sudden there they were, flying together to perch in a tree right beside my truck! It could be the weather and it could just be the start of mating season, but there was definitely more activity today! February is the month for laying eagle eggs! We may have eagles on the nest soon!
I get a lot of enjoyment watching the progress as the eggs hatch and eventually a tiny head peers over the rim of the nest. We’ve had a really good survival rate the last few years too. Hopefully one of these days there will be even more bald eagles in the area.
Rough Legged Hawk
I have been watching and photographing a rough legged hawk for years. He seems to live somewhere near the mountain down the road but I haven’t seen him for a long time. I thought he must have either been forced to move from his prime hunting ground or perhaps that something had happened to him. But today, there he was! Right on his favorite light pole 🙂 I approached to photograph him but he flew away before I could get him into the best lighting position. I still got a great image of him flying though, and was glad to see that the flight was not for nothing. He flew a few yards and then dove down to successfully snatch a mouse out of the mountain grass!
The Fox Was Hunting Too
After the hawk ate his mouse and flew back to the mountain, I turned around and there was a fox! I quick adjusted my camera to land mammal settings and was lucky to at least catch him in a launch. For some reason I didn’t manage to catch the rest of the pounce, but the fox managed to grab a mouse for himself 🙂
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