14 April 2024

Bald eagle

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009


At first light, the sky was clear and the air was calm and the temperature was about 10 degrees (F). First light came a little earlier than yesterday. And then the sun, following its low arc, melted the ice on the south sides of things. The hill out back looks wintry.

American crow in a red oak tree.

Compared to last night’s whipping winds, today’s are weak and feeble. In mid-afternoon, I heard the caws of crows and stepped out onto the back deck but saw none. Behind me, though, I heard the sudden sound of ice cracking from above—as if perhaps a crow had taken off from the roof behind me. I turned in time to see an adult bald eagle flapping away to the north. I’d never been so close to an eagle before, perhaps 40 feet. I’m still unsure as to whether it ‘d been sitting on the roof or perched on a limb of the big oak overhanging it. But what a lovely bird.

Crows soon arrived, though—three or four of them. Always crows.

The temperature reached into the 20s today but not much beyond. Nightfall came a minute or two later than yesterday. Soon after, the moon rose. And just now, at nearly 11 p.m., the high bright moon (it’ll be full tomorrow) sported a wide circular halo. Sign of the storm to come?

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Bird Report is a (sometimes intermittent) record of the birds I encounter while hiking, see while driving, or spy outside my window. —Brian Willson

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