Backyard Eagle Encounter

I was sitting at the computer by the picture window that looks out over our backyard. An eagle circled and went back over the strip pit. Another adult bald eagle did the same. I called my mother to “nanner nanner.” One eagle returned. I got off the phone, grabbed my camera and hurried outside.

The other eagle returned too. They circled here and there, heading north and returning, back and forth over the old strip pit behind the house and returning. A strong south wind blew, blowing cumulus clouds to the north, speeding the eagles’ flight and complicating picture-taking.

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They’d disappear and return. I’d occasionally hear one of their  eek” calls. I lost concept of time. Nothing but waiting for them,  and watching them, trying to get pictures. Then a 3rd adult eagle joined them. They didn’t sound to pleased about that. Heard occasional “eeeek” calls.

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I did pause occasionally to breathe. They were closer than they look in the pictures. If I zoomed in too much I couldn’t find them before they were too far off. The back and forth behind the strip pit, and flights to the north and back continued.

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Obviously, the first 2 were a mated pair and the third an intruder. This got me wondering when they mate in southern Illinois and lay their eggs. Big birds obviously take longer to reach maturity.

Great horned owls begin nesting here in southern Illinois at the end of January. Bald eagles incubate their eggs 35 days, and the eaglets fly at 70-75 days. That’s roughly over 3 months.  I couldn’t find the information I wanted online. I’ll file these questions in my brain somewhere and maybe will learn the answers sometime.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. NIce photos of the eagles. You are fortunate to have them nearby.

    Reply

  2. Wouldn’t it be great if eagles were a common sight in our skys?

    Reply

  3. How cool is it to have eagles in the backyard!! VERY. 😀

    Reply

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