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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Sun Jan 7, 2018, 10:55 PM

52. I have tons of stories

but I think I have one selected now. I'll start by admitting that I probably had far more opportunity to interact with wildlife since I have lived at the edge of one wilderness or another for several decades and worked in and around national parks and national forests during these years. I started a list of unusual wildlife interactions between either the animals and me or two species interacting in unexpected ways.

I like this one:

One October afternoon I wanted to go out to a lake nearby and just enjoy one of the last warm, sunny days of the year. This lake was actually created by a small dam further down the river, both famous for fishing. Being out in the wilds, there were bald eagles nested along the river and at this point in the year I liked to go out and watch the chicks of the year working on their skills they will need through the winter as they may or may not migrate out.

I arrived at a favorite spot on a bluff overlooking the lake, river and a wide, panoramic view. There were some trees there so I parked in the shade, got out with my binos and camera and walked toward the edge to see what might be on the water. I saw the migrating rafting birds out there, several large groups... coots, I think, and a few swans.

Then I felt like something was watching me, I looked around and saw above me a young eagle circling and eventually landed on a snag about thirty feet from me but there was a pine tree between us and the bird lit in a spot where its view was mostly obscured. After it landed it started peeking through openings in the needle fronds to catch a glimpse of me but hiding behind the trunk of the tree. I made eye contact and slowly started edged my way to the side so I could get a clear view of it, I had a great picture if I could get beyond the tree branches between us.

I made sure to make no sudden moves and got into position without spooking this magnificent creature as it watched me the whole time. I took about fifty pictures when the bird decided it needed to change position and performed a sort of pirouette on the branch then actually sat down on its tail, now looking out over the lake. We watched the rafting birds and the ravens and gulls passing by for almost an hour before I decided to go to another spot. When I got to the next place, a couple minutes after I parked, the eagle came flying over and found a spot to sit near me. I have quite a few pictures of that one.

The odd thing about it all was that I went back to the bluff several times that season before the FS road was closed for the winter and every time I showed up at that place, a young eagle would come sit with me and follow me all along the shore until I went home.

Some of my buddies said that it may have thought I was fishing, some fishing-folk will toss a fish or two to the birds so that could be the reason. I just thought it was cool to have so much opportunity to watch just one bird up close like that.


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Stuart G Jan 2018 OP
lapucelle Jan 2018 #1
Stuart G Jan 2018 #4
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LineReply I have tons of stories
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