Bald Eagles are common where I live, even in winter. Four miles from my house, in Northrup Canyon, almost one hundred eagles may come to roost for the winter and fish in Banks Lake.
So it’s not unusual to see a bald eagle at any time of the year. I am always amazed, “Look! A Bald Eagle!” as if I’ve never seen one before. I watch them soar on thermals without a flapping a wing on a summer’s day, and resting in trees by the side of the five lakes nearby.
Today, we returned home from Omak on the somewhat snowy and treed Highway 155. It looked less snowy than this and is only two lanes, but imagine looking out the window at the road at sixty miles an hour.
And Whooosssshhhhh, a bald eagle swoops down passing eye level over the road in front of you, probably for a meal of rabbit in the forest off the road. There it is for a blink of an eye, in its full majesty: and huge.
Until the raptor is directly near you, its size is deceptive. It’s wing span is six to seven feet! Taller than me! Taller than my husband! It stands about 30-40 inches tall, that’s about a yard– on an adult, that’s about from your right shoulder to the tip of your finger on your outstretched left arm. So they would stand several inches below a man’s waist. Coming down from a dive, this eagle could have been slowing down from one hundred miles an hour, although they soar at thirty-fifty miles an hour.
How could it see that rabbit? It’s said that an eagle can see an ant while sitting on top of a ten-story building or another eagle in the sky fifty miles away.
So, the next time I see an eagle soaring or eyeing the lake for fish while sitting in a tree, I’ll remember how huge, graceful, and powerful they really are.
What animal in your area amazes you?
Washington Nature Mapping Program
Bird Web, Seattle Audubon Society
Bald Eagle Info [Minnesota]
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Interesting creature — ferocious, no doubt. Apparently, WA State is reintroducing them since their eradication: https://www.nps.gov/articles/washington-fisher-restoration.htm Perhaps we might rethink that. We have bears, mostly in the higher, forested areas. We have probably two to three herd of deer that roam our side of town. I have not seen a fox here, but apparently, they’re here. Coyote and cougar rule the wilds. Thanks for the info on the Fisher Cat. ~ Sheri
Bears and foxes and deer are regularly visitors to our neighborhood, but it is the return and resurgence of the Fisher Cat that is both intriguing and a little scary. Many domestic animals have gone missing in the past years, no doubt due to the Fisher (which is of the weasel family, nocturnal and a ferocious hunter). It made its comeback after state laws were passed to stop trapping (mostly to protect beavers, but changes often have unknown ramifications).