Well, I was one of the "nice ladies" that needed to leave before this drama
unfolded and all I can say is CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for reporting
this so clearly that it makes me feel as if I was standing beside you!
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 4:19 PM, Jim Mead <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I saw Roy Pilcher on Fort Cassin Road in Ferrisburgh at 11:30 a.m. and he
> mentioned to me that he had seen a bunch of ducks in a field along Hawkins
> Road. I then headed over to that location and got there around noon. Aaron
> Yappert pulled in about a minute later. We birded together until he had to
> leave at around 1:10 p.m. That was also just after the entire group of
> birds had put up and left. He and I saw many birds (see my ebird posting)
> but our highlights were: 1) Seeing 2 Bald Eagles gathering nesting
> materials and also saw both of them together in a nest. 2) Seeing 2
> Cackling Geese in flight while migrating north. 3) We also saw a Ross's
> Goose in flight while it was migrating north. After Aaron left the birds
> began returning to the field and then at around 1:40 p.m., two very nice
> ladies pulled in and joined me for about 10 minutes until they too had to
> go. I am sorry but I cannot remember their names but they did mention that
> they are members of Otter Creek Audubon Soc!
> iety. Unfortunately for them, the Golden Eagle attack happened about a
> minute after they had gone. It happened very quickly. All of a sudden I saw
> a raptor coming in from the north. It then turned on a dime and dove with
> its' wings tucked, straight toward the ground. I first thought that I was
> looking at a light morph Rough-legged Hawk because as it was plummeting I
> could see its' dark back side and noticed a dark terminal band on its' tail
> with a white band between that and the base of the tail. The raptor hit a
> Canada Goose (that had started to take off) about 3' off the ground-BOOM.
> It forced the Goose back down to the ground, with both talons landing
> directly in the center of the Goose's back. The Goose was on its' stomach
> and its' wings were splayed open. What happened next really surprised me.
> The raptor jumped off the Goose and stood next to it for about 4 seconds.
> That is when I realized it was not a Rough-legged Hawk but instead, was a
> 1st year Golden Eagle. I had !
> just enough time to see its' golden nape and head. The reason that it had
> jumped off the Goose was because it had seen something that I had yet not.
> I soon realized that I was not the only one watching the attack. Seemingly
> out of nowhere, one of the adult Bald Eagles flew in and went directly at
> the Golden Eagle. The juvenile Golden did not hesitate and took off
> immediately. The Bald Eagle chased it off and the Golden Eagle flew away
> toward the northeast. In flight the Golden showed white patches at the base
> of its' secondaries on the underside (not seen on the topside of wings). It
> also circled a few times as it was departing and showed a slight dihedral.
> When I looked back down to the field, there was only one bird left- the
> Canada Goose that had been attacked. All of the other birds flew over
> toward and had put down on Little Otter Creek. I then wondered how badly
> the Goose may have been injured. At first it was just standing there not
> moving. Then it walked a bit on wobbly legs. A while later, it was upright
> and actually looked normal. A !
> few minutes later it lifted both wings and flapped them a couple of
> times. I noticed some feathers falling from its' body and when it it put
> both wings back down, I could see that the tip of the left wing was ever so
> slightly separated from the rest of the wing. I also noticed a little spot
> of blood on the left side of the Goose. I then saw 6 other Canada Geese
> land in the field and the slightly injured Goose made its' way to them. I
> then heard a lot of and very loud honking coming from Little Otter Creek.
> All of those birds had been put up by a juvenile Bald Eagle and they were
> headed toward me. I looked down at the field toward the 7 Canada Geese
> (including the injured one) only to find that they had all left. I
> relocated them flying away in front of the large group heading their way
> and all 7 of them looked completely normal in flight. I watched that
> injured Canada Goose in the field for about 10 minutes and was amazed that
> neither of the Eagles came back to finish it of!
> f, but was even more amazed and quite pleased that it was able to fly
> away and hopefully live, another day. . .
> Enjoy Birds,
> Jim Mead