Hey, Stop Harassing That Eagle!

It was a chilly morning with a stiff wind.  Penny and I were headed down the closed-off road to the Wrightsville Reservoir rec area to check for waterfowl and get some exercise. Lugging my scope over my shoulder and binoculars and camera from my neck, I felt like a pack mule while the dog ran here and there.  There’s no one around this time of year so it’s a great place for us – and only a mile from home.

My hands were freezing in the thin gloves — I realized that the hand warmers, guaranteed for 10 hours, were last year’s supply and had lost their pizzaz.  I didn’t even get 10 minutes.

As I carefully approached the water, I set up in the woods and immediately saw a Great Blue Heron fishing on the far bank.  The water was roiling and the wind was tough, so I headed down on the loop we often take, planning to keep it a short one.

I saw some movement — a large bird flying — and thought that the heron had flushed.  Then, in my binoculars, I saw that it was a Bald Eagle, being harassed by crows.  I fumbled for the camera, turned it on, set the dial for action shots, and with frosty fingers, took a few shots.

Two crows pester a young bald eagle -- Wrightsville Reservoir, VT

Two crows pester a young bald eagle — Wrightsville Reservoir, VT

The trio circled above us, whipped by the winds and disappearing now and then over the tree line.  I fired away but in situations like this, I find out that I am a birder who carries a camera, not a photographer who happens to bird.  Here are a couple of highly cropped shots:

I have seen this eagle once before here -- I am guessing that it is a 2nd-year bird from the markings.

I have seen this eagle once before here.  I am guessing that it is a 2nd-year bird from the markings.


It was only a show of several minutes but exciting — Bald Eagles are scarce enough in the area (I saw one other last February) that they are a treat for a birder.

We struck out on waterfowl and the wind had driven all the sparrows and friends deep into cover so we cut it short, but I for one didn’t feel cheated.  As an aviator, to see the eagle gracefully soaring on flat wings ignoring  the dive-bombing of the crows was fun and worth a few white fingers.

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4 Responses to Hey, Stop Harassing That Eagle!

  1. Claude Stone says:

    What a treat! Thanks for the photos, your getting good at this….

  2. Helen says:

    Love this, good for you for braving the cold. This was obviously your reward.

  3. Mary Robb Mansfield says:

    Ah, the majesty of an eagle, not to be be disturbed by the hassling of mere crows!

  4. Martha Rylander says:

    I see so many eagles around the Upper Connecticut River, either sitting high in pine trees or just swooping down towards the river, I assume they are looking for fish like me…..great pics, they move fast so I never can get a good pic.

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