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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

They're baaaaaack!

Eagles are starting to pile into their usual haunts as winter in closing in fast. Cullen and I loaded up the mountain bikes and took a short trip a couple of miles into the Sherburne NWR today in advance of a fast moving trough. LOTS of waterfowl moving today and the first appreciable numbers of diving ducks also. Most we saw were ringnecks and lesser scaup but also a few redheads and cans. The magic day of October 21 is quickly going to be here signaling the statistical spike in the duck migration. The point here is the increasing number of waterfowl also brings a noticeable increase in bald eagles to this area. As with years past, today brought what we expected: eagles scattered about with many new juvenile birds moving in.

When Cullen and I turned the corner onto the service road where I wanted to go, we spotted this very young eagle sitting on the road (a long LONG ways out) with 2 mature (locals) and 2 more juveniles sitting in the trees overhead.


It turns out the eagles had killed a medium sized raccoon and were in the process of cleaning what meat was left from the carcass. Pretty interesting to watch as when we approached, none of the eagles were in a big hurry to leave the kill. We took a moment to observe what was left of the raccoon. They had cleaned 99% of the meat off the bones and the hide looked as if it had been removed with the precision of a trapper.


We left the raccoon for the eagles to go back to work on as one of the local birds (I recognized the "notch" in the feathers on the right wing) kept tabs on us as we peddled our way back to the truck as the cold front swept by dropping temps into the upper 40's. Still better than last year as we had snow cover already!


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