Wednesday, April 15, 2015

habitats

A few weeks ago Bobby told me he saw an eagle. I missed it, but did see the shadow on the ground as it flew overhead. This morning I got a glimpse of it. It soared like the hawks that frequently hover, but it also dove into the pond. I've never seen a hawk do that. Grabbing the binoculars, I was even more baffled. Its feathers were mottled (a mixture of brown and white), but but the center of its head was white - like a mohawk. The rest of its face was brown, like a golden eagle, but it clearly had the short, hook nose. Its tail, in flight, showed stripes, but when perched on the tree appeared to be a solid dark color. I'm not sure but the underbelly was also lighter colored, like that of a hawk.

I spent some time reading this morning on wikipedia about birds in North Carolina. I don't know if golden eagles and bald eagles mix breed or not, but at this point we're leaning more towards a young bald eagle.

The last five years we have seen more wildlife than I have ever seen in my life. I've seen numerous foxes, a few coyote, wild rabbits, herds of deer, hawks, blue herons, beavers, o'possums, raccoons, a river otter (we think...could have been a mink), a groundhog (at church in the parking lot this past Sunday!), and now maybe an eagle. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with living near a pond, and some has to do with all the wooded areas nearby slowly being developed, but it can be a bit unnerving. The first time I saw a fox, I wasn't sure what I was seeing. My brain was processing details so fast it wasn't funny - cat ears, cat stance, dog size, bushy tail, funny legs/paws - can it be? Am I see a fox? It was very weird and strange. And they move so fast, that once they're gone you sit there thinking "Did I really see that?"

There are times that I really hate having a pond at our house. It brings a lot of visitors, both human and wild, and takes a little extra work to maintain. But I have absolutely loved seeing the wildlife, even when it scares me a little.

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