Monday, March 24, 2014

Predator Drama

On my bike ride today, some birds were acting strangely, which had me looking up in the trees more than usual, when I saw this! I nearly crashed into a snowbank in my scramble to stop pedaling and get this shot before one or both eagles flew off.

On my next lap around, only one bald eagle was still in the tree; I didn't see the other one at all. Then, on my next trip around, one eagle flew two low, lazy loops before landing back in the tree, while the other one called/talked to it the whole time. On my next trip around, both eagles were flying low figure-8 swoops, right overhead. When I left them behind, I figured nothing would be in the tree, but there was a third large bird there! At first, I thought it might be an immature eagle. But, then, I realized it looked larger than an eagle--so maybe it had actually chased the eagles out of the tree. I'm not sure what kind of bird it was; it had a white chest, but most of the rest of it was mottled brown. As I tried to take its picture, it flew off (of course!); I thought I'd caught its flight in the following shot, but I guess I missed it. (I think it's out of frame to the right.)

I missed the bird drama on the rest of my ride; when they were around, they helped distract me from how cold I was. I froze out there today! Without the birds for distraction, I thought a lot about how many things I must have missed these last few years when I didn't spend much winter time outdoors. I also wondered how much I will fat bike during a future winter when I don't have an upcoming epic tour as motivation.

On my last loop around, in a totally different spot from the eagle spot, there was a huge black bird with a red head sitting in a tree. A turkey vulture maybe? Didn't get a photo of that one, either.

I was surprised to find this photo on my camera when I got home. Apparently I managed to capture my own shadow when I was scrambling to photograph the flying bird.

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