Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Earlier today, I was walking the paths of the second acre, taking pictures. Above me I caught sight of a bird circling. I've had turkey vultures circling a several times in the past few weeks...and they remind me of an embarrassing moment: Years ago, Jeff and I were at a campground with friends. I spotted a bird circling above and preceded to tell Jeff that it was a hawk. Our friends looked at each other (and probably laughed) and preceded to tell me that it was a turkey vulture.

So, needless to say, today I snapped off a few shots of the circling bird, transferred the pictures to the computer, and preceded to work out in the yard. I came in to eat, sat down at the computer, and began looking through the pictures I took today. The first two were way out of focus, but a little thrill went through me when I spotted a lightness to the tail. Sure enough the next photo affirmed my hope: I had taken a picture, not of a turkey vulture, but of a bald eagle! I am so thrilled!

A year or two ago, I spotted one flying away--never saw its head but did see the white tail feathers. I'd suspected it was a bald eagle (my first), but had nothing to confirm it. Now, after today, I feel certain that it was...and now I have a photo or two of one to share.

Unfortunately, it is not in clear focus, but it is still worth sharing...and as it sunk in a couple of seconds later: interesting that I spotted it on Memorial Day. :)


Julie Stone said...

Very cool! It always feels like a gift when I get to see one. We hardly ever see bald eagles here (no large body of water nearby) except during the fall migration. You may already know this trick, but I read something helpful in the Sibley Guidebook that tells me right away when I see a soaring bird if it's a vulture or hawk/eagle. Vultures always hold their wings in a "V" shape when they are gliding, Hawks and eagles hold their wings straight and flat.

David said...


I've always assumed they were too rare to see them...especially in Pennsylvania. I guess they are coming back from being endangered. How cool to see one in (or should I say *above* my own yard!

I don't know that trick--I'll have to pull out my Peterson's guide; I remember seeing a comparison there. From what I can tell, the vultures always seem to be outstreched wings as well. (I guess I'll have to go search for my field guide.)

Thanks for the comment. ~smile~