Have You Ever…?

Have you ever had the experience, or should I say the privilege, of being within 50 feet of a flying adult Bald Eagle? What an amazing experience it is! I have been so privileged on a few occasions. The latest of which was about an hour and a half ago.

I was northbound on Ohio Route 4, between  Harshman Road and Route 444, and looking south towards Blue Lake to see if Jim was in his usual evening perch. He wasn’t. He was flying parallel to me, just about eye level, about 50 feet away. I saw him. The guy driving the car behind me saw him. The person driving the car behind that car saw him too. It is hard not to see over 7 feet of eagle wing gliding by. I musingly wondered if the driver behind me had seen the Eastwood Eagle Watchers sticker on the back window of my car and had asked himself what the big deal was about eagle watching moments before becoming acutely aware of what the big deal about eagle watching is all about. All I know is that when I looked in my mirror his head was rotated about 180 degrees backwards.

I have been that close to wild adult Bald Eagles several times before, always by their coming to where I was and not me approaching them. Eagle watchers tend to have a deep respect for the personal space around eagles as well as for the laws that protect them. The thrill is always the same. They are such powerful, majestic and massive creatures that it sends a chill down your spine and is usually a tad bit frightening too. The effortless flight, the look in their eyes, the bright yellow hooked bill and feet, the massive razor-sharp talons and the bright white head and tail feathers added to the impressive size of the bird can leave quite an impact on your mind (and quite a smile on your face).

I was on my way to the lake at Huffman Dam Metro Park where, according to the park rangers, the eagles have been fishing in the afternoons and evenings. I have not seen them there yet this year but they were there almost every day last October. I did find that the migrating swans are starting to show up again on Huffman Lake. Last year a visiting swan was beaten to death by a teenage male. The forlorn mate of that swan stayed nearby for several days. Should you see anyone harassing the wildlife please notify a ranger. Metro Park Rangers are fully authorized law enforcement officers and work diligently to protect the park patrons and wildlife.

And please remember: as you drive down Route 4, try to keep at least one eye on the road.

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 12:06 am  Comments (2)  

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wish I were with you Jim
    I saw them both just about as close this morning…

  2. I always drive with one eye on the sky but don’t usually get up that way.

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