Monday, January 10, 2011

Bald Eagle Dies In Fight For His Life

This was an amazing day to get to witness nature up close and personal.

I actually live in the city but it borders the country. It use to be more country but of course the city has moved closer to us.
Yesterday I was raking leaves and heard screeching and looked up in the sky over my house and there were two bald eagles flying over. I thought about the chickens briefly and ran to get the camera. By the time I got outside they were gone. I see them flying around at times but never over my house like that. It was pretty cool!
So today I went for a walk with my sister in law and the two dogs. We took our regular walk and were catching up with each other. She has been staying up here and going to nursing school, but was on break since before Christmas.
Anyhow, we were walking down the field and I was telling her about last week finding a bawling cow that had lost it's calf. We looked and looked for the calf last week but never found it. I told her how I found the placenta and umbilical cord and all that fun stuff. Sometimes a cow hides her calf and comes back later for it. That is what I thought had happened until the next day when I walked down that same field and saw her bawling. At that point it was presumed dead but we never found a sign of it.
Anyhow, as we were walking I saw a bunch of buzzards probably 20-30 all flying and jumping around on the ground like they do. I said to my SIL geez that could be the dead calf that was missing, lets go check it out. So reluctantly she followed. What we found instead were two bald eagles stuck together with their talons piercing each other! They were both on the ground one was flapping its wings frantic to get loose but could not. The other one was dazed, not fighting but obviously in distress. They were both bleeding. Without thinking, I decided to help them. I climbed through the barbed wire fence and grabbed ahold of the flapping eagle. That is no small feat in itself. They are very big and heavy. Their talons are extremely strong! I did manage to pull the talons of the one eagle out of the other eagle and vice versa! At that point the eagle was free and began flapping harder. I released it. It flew up and away. It was an amazing sight and I wish I had brought the camera or at least my phone with me. At that point the other eagle was badly hurt and in need of help. So I told my SIL to stay with it to keep the buzzards away and I ran home to get the phone and truck. By the time I got back it had passed away.
I spent the next several minuets trying to get ahold of someone to tell me what to do with the bird.
Finally, I got ahold of CA Dept. of Fish and Game and they asked me to bring it down to the office. It was all just so amazing and unbelievable to have witnessed something like that. You just can't believe how big they are by seeing a picture or even one on t.v.
The Fish and Game thought they were probably fighting with each other and got stuck together. They said they had a similar case last year. I hope the one that I freed survives. I will be watching for it on my next walk! I will be sure to take my phone and camera from now on!

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Lola said...

What a shame to loose such a majestic bird. We use to watch them in their nest with babies thru binoculars.That was always a treat for us.
I must take this opportunity to let you know that the little African violet leaves that you sent me {one} has grown quite lovely & is blooming for the first time.

Brighid said...

Wow, that was interesting. They are big aren't they. We often saw them on the home ranch, mostly during calving season.

creekside rummager said...

Cindee that was really great that you jumped in to help the eagles. At least, one was able to possibly survive.

Meadowview Thymes said...

On my goodness Cindee--what an experience for you. I love eagles although we do not see them where we live. It was such a sight to see so many on a river in Alaska when we went several years ago. How kind of you to try and help--I wouldn't have known what to do.
On another note (Lola's comment reminded me to ask) I finally bought some African violets--do I deadhead the spent blooms just like you would flowers outside? I have no idea how to care for them, but I am sure enjoying the blooms these cold winter days!

The Japanese Redneck said...

That's sad, but so glad you were able to at least try and help the other one before it died too.

Hopefully it will make it.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Cindee girl that was amazing to read .. sad seeing the dead eagle and HOLY CRAP ! you were so brave to try and help them out .. I would have panicked and ran around in circles till I would fall down from fainting!
Yes .. I have an idea these birds are huge .. all the more amazing that you got right in the thick of things!!
Mista' G would have been proud girl !

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hey Cindee--a little birdie told me your birthday is the 14th---