Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holy Crap a Bald Eagle!

This very day I spotted a gigantic bald eagle (is there any other kind?) at the Oaks Park Wildlife Refuge here in dear Puddle-Town.

He was sitting alone in the upper branches of a tree overlooking the wetland near Oaks Amusement Park, well within sight of the crystal clear waters of the Willamette River. As I got closer, the white head and brown body came clearly to view, and as I still watched, he took off in flight and left no doubt as to his bald eagleness.

I now offer my guide to viewing bald eagles in the Portland area, such as it is:

  • Go somewhere near the river -- Columbia, Willamette, whichever. Man, this guide already sucks.
  • Make sure it's a terrible day -- like, say, about 40 degrees (F) and rainy, to ensure that no other people are anywhere nearby. It helps if you're literally too stupid to come in from the rain.
  • Be very, very quiet. When I saw the eagle, I was not yelling or singing or banging pans together, and I have to believe this helped.
  • Have a camera. Posts like this are totally lame without a photo.


Brian Moon said...

I know that there's an osprey that lives in that swamp. My post from when I thought it was an eagle is here - my correction is here.

Dale said...

Brian, I have seen the osprey(s) there many times (and made the same eagle-false-positive mistake as you did), so I was very keen to look at this bird carefully. If he hadn't taken off, I might not be so sure, but this was not only much larger than the osprey but had the correct body markings -- all brown but for the white head -- and even the characteristic "spread fingers" wingtip feather pattern.

I'm glad you got a good photo of the osprey, though -- those are impressive birds. I don't think they were around this year, or not as much.