Hunting Lessons

One of the big advantages of watching Jim and Cindy in the winter is that they are so much easier to find. Not only are there no leaves to hide their easy-to-identify silhouettes, but when the frigid temperatures freeze the surface water of the smaller lakes of their domain, you know just where to look for them. They and their juveniles can be found either fishing along the rivers or hunting waterfowl on the yet-unfrozen pools of water in the center of their larger lakes.

That is currently the case at Eastwood Lake. Near the center of the lake, just a few hundred feet from shore, the cold, choppy water has yet to freeze. The size of the pool varies from day to day as does its inhabitants, but the contrast between the dark blue water and the bright white snow covering the adjacent frozen surface is quite striking. Here in this small pool, Coots, Mute Swans, Goldeneyes, Canada Geese, gulls and other waterfowl wile away the day bobbing, dipping and diving or just sitting on the nearby ice. We have noticed how popular this pool has become over the last few weeks. The eagles have noticed it too. Sitting in a warm car parked along the shore with a hot cup of coffee and a sandwich can be a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours as you watch for hungry eagles coming to raid the icebox.

Eagles are often scavengers and usually will not pass up a free meal. Roger captured the following series of images of Jim snatching a dead Coot from the pool and then warily dining poolside.

Jim spotting the dead Coot.

Jim spotting the dead Coot.

Zeroing in on his target.

Zeroing in on his target.

Precision, power and concentration!

Precision, power and concentration!

The snatch!

The snatch!

Carrying his prize.

Carrying his prize.

Checking for any threats to his catch.

Checking for any threats to his catch.

Dining and leaving a trail of feathers in the wind.

Dining and leaving a trail of feathers in the wind.

Then today he was able to watch a juvenile do a little Coot scootin’ of its own. It came up empty but decided to pass about 30 feet from Roger’s Jeep as it flew towards the river.

Decisions, decisions. Heads or tails?

Decisions, decisions. Heads or tails?

Coot scootin.

Coot scootin.

Another unsuccessful pass.

Another unsuccessful pass.

The flyby.

The flyby.

Passing just 30 feet away.

Passing just 30 feet away.

Caught mid-blink.

Caught mid-blink.

It is a thrill to watch the action of this adventure as it unfolds. Today, as I was sitting and waiting and watching I was thinking how January and February used to be depressing months of daylight deprivation and cabin fever but, since Jim and Cindy arrived and set up residence in the well field, they have become two of the most enjoyable months of the year. Additionally I realized that instead of focusing on lunch, this juvenile Bald Eagle should have paid more attention to technique as Dad was teaching last summer’s hunting lessons.

Advertisements
Published in: on January 20, 2014 at 1:51 am  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Eagle Jim, You mentioned you like to sit by the lake and watch the eagles. Would you please send me directions to the best viewing area. My friend and I would also like to view the nest. We would be coming from Kettering and are interested in coming before the leaves are on the trees. Would appreciate the info. Thanks Willa Jean Smalley

  2. Hello Willa, Thanks for asking. If you look at my November 13, 2013 post on this blog, titled “Happy Eagle Watching”, I go into great detail as to how, where and when to have the best chance to see them. The nest is quite a ways off but clearly visible. Patience and persistence pay off. I hope you have a great time!

  3. Eagle Jim, Thanks so much for keeping us updated. My husband and I love coming and watching the nest and action. Will Boonshoft have the eagle cams this year?

  4. Marvelous photos, as always!!

  5. Awesome read Jim ! So enjoyed it……..and I’m with you. Nothing more enjoyable than watching these awesome creations of God through yours and Rogers pictures. Added to that, your excellent commentary ! All I can say is, THANK YOU !

  6. It is our pleasure Joy. Yes, the eagle cams will be reactivated next month unless there are unforeseen problems with the actual cameras and hardware. Greg McAfee of McAfee Heating and Air has sponsored the cameras again this year. I am planning on mentioning the cameras in a post soon.

  7. Thank you Jennie. I am always impressed by the work of our photographers. They are very dedicated and passionate about their art and often spend hours searching, watching and waiting for the perfect shot.

  8. Thank you Opal. A picture speaks a thousand words and I am always tempted to just post the images in fear that my words would only distract people from the being captivated by the beauty of the shots, but there lies a story behind and between each shutter compression that needs to be shared as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: