Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eagle "fun and games"

Juv. Bald Eagle on the Conn. River in Hinsdale, NH.

Last Saturday 4/4, I saw this Juv. Bald Eagle (above) on the Connecticut River in Hinsdale, NH. At first glance there appeared nothing noteworthy of this bird, but upon closer examination, I could see it had something in its left talon. It was not a prey item, which was my first thought, but what appeared to be a short piece of PVC pipe, about 6 to 8"!

The foreign object in the bird's left talon.

This youngster hung onto it for about 5 minutes, to the point I thought it may have been entangled with the foreign object (the word foreign object brings to mind old-time cheesy professional wrestling...but I digress). The eagle finally released the pipe, then proceeded to grab a few sticks and drop them as if playing "pickup sticks".

After being displaced, from the log, a Great Black-backed Gull returned as the eagle looks on.
On 4/9, I was watching several dozen Tree Swallows along the Nashua River, in Pepperell, Ma., when a 3rd year type Bald Eagle flew in and "caught" what looked like a clump of debris. It flew off with the "catch", but returned empty handed.
While I haven't seen eagles do this before, I suppose it may not too uncommon. Once, while hawkwatching on Mt. Watatic, I watched a Red-tailed Hawk catch a leaf and release it a few times, a fledgling Peregrine Falcon in Sunderland did the same with a feather. Perhaps, there is an urge for these young eagles to grasp at nesting materials even though it maybe a bit premature?

Digi-bin practice on moving Tree Swallow. There was about 120 over the river and 1 barn Swallow, but the Barn never offered a chance to be photographed.

Another Tree Swallow

This Eastern Bluebird posed nicely for a shot.

No comments: