Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Eagle has Landed

I photographed this bald eagle a couple of days ago after it caught a shad.  I didn't see where it came from since I was distracted watching a cormorant trying to choke down a huge catfish in the same area.  I was surprised the eagle caught a shad.  I didn't think they were in the river right now.  They are an anadromous fish which run up rivers from the sea in the spring to spawn.  One thing is for sure: it was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

I have seen very few eagles this fall.  I guess the younger ones have dispersed to find their own piece of river.  I have only seen three in the area this fall.

I thought the eagle would disappear in the marsh grass when it landed, but it landed on an elevated mound and was still completely visible.  It only stayed there a few minutes, then took off and flew across the river.  It was streaming reeds as it flew and, at one point, put it's head down and looked under and back at it's feet to see if it had the fish.  I don't think it did.  All I could see in subsequent pictures were the reeds, which it was losing at it flew.  If it didn't have the fish, I'm pretty sure it would return later and get it.

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