Wow! What a story!
Sent from my iPad
> On 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