Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

eagle identification wild goose chase


The chickens squawked urgently – a loud and clear threat alarm.

I dashed to the window.

Holey smokes! Looked like an eagle standing in their yard.

I scrambled into the chicken yard to watch him fly away. (Him, her, I have no idea. I’ll just use the generic male terminology for simplicity’s sake.)

Yep, BIGREALLY BIG. Blue flashes on both shoulders and a patch on the tail.

He landed in a tree 100 meters away. I took several photos with my Canon camera zoomed in quite a bit. I figured one or more of them would not be blurred beyond recognition.

I snapped a few pictures and kept an eye on him until he flew off away from our home and vulnerable chicken yard.

Then I spent quite a bit of time looking for an eagle or very large hawk of that description without finding a darn thing at any of the bird identifying sites that were native to anywhere on Earth.

Then I looked at my photos. The blue patches were federal wildlife tags marking him as number 389. Sheesh!

Back to the bird identification sites with an easy ID as a young Golden Eagle.


COMMON NAME: Golden Eagle

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aquila chrysaetos

TYPE: Birds

DIET: Carnivore

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 30 years

SIZE: 33 to 38 inches; wingspan: 6 to 7.5 feet

WEIGHT: 6 to 15 pounds

SIZE RELATIVE TO A 6-FT MAN:

This powerful eagle is North America’s largest bird of prey and the national bird of Mexico. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. They are extremely swift, and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles per hour.

Hunting

Golden eagles use their speed and sharp talons to snatch up rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. They also eat carrion, reptiles, birds, fish, and smaller fare such as large insects. They have even been known to attack full grown deer.


He’s certainly capable of taking out my chickens or even our BLAB (Beagle Lab cross). Hopefully having The Big Guy (6-foot-me) show up right after his first landing in the chicken yard will make him decide to do his hunting elsewhere.