I saw a young bald eagle recently flying over the lake just off from the hamlet. The ducks by the ferry dock ignored him but I bet they were keeping a close watch nevertheless. ~ Rob Ivy (Essex Column, Feb. 5, 2014)
I bundled up this morning – thermals and lots of fleecy layers – to brace against the subzero temperatures. After almost 24 hours of continuous snowfall I was excited with the prospect of an early morning skiing the fresh powder at Whiteface. But an even greater gift surprised me as I finished scraping the car and climbed in.
Bald Eagle Breakfasting?
My mobile phone buzzed to tell me a Facebook message had arrived.
“Bald eagle out there this morning!”
It was Willsboro neighbor, Beatrice Disogra, a daily Essex ferry commuter with a gift of spying bald eagles (and spectacular Lake Champlain views!) I parked at the end of our driveway, craning my neck to survey the trees. I didn’t see him at first. Our digital dialogue continued.
Look to the left of the boathouse up in the tall trees on the WATER’S EDGE. It came down and plucked a fish out between the boathouse and ferry dock last week. I’m at the ferry dock watching it right now. There’s a young one without white feathers that hangs out in front of your house. Should be easy to spot when the sun comes out.
I got out of my car and walked north, inspecting ash, maple, locust and cottonwood. Then I noticed a likely suspect.
Just walked toward Sandy Pt. Saw large blackish mass high in tree. Not certain it was eagle, but now gone.
It was. It flew past me at ferry dock. It will come back.
I had snapped the blurry photo above with my mobile phone in order to zoom in and take a closer look once I was back in the warmth of my car. And the eagle must have flown off as soon as I turned to walk away.
Bald Eagle and “Sitting Ducks”
I verified with Ms. Disogra that she’d witnessed the eagle catching a fish, not a duck. She assured me that she had been close enough to see it.
But bald eagles are also fond of ducks, and the area we keep bubbled in front of Rosslyn’s boathouse inevitably offers an inviting smorgasbord for hungry eagles. So far no photos of an eagle flying away with a duck in its talons!
It is worth noting, I am conflicted about this bald eagle and “sitting duck” situation. I am a big fan of the ducks. In fact, I want to raise a few ducklings myself one day, if only my bride would relent. And I am also awed by the magnificent bald eagles which frequent the Adirondack Coast in winter. But one could argue that we are effectively manipulating nature by creating open water which attracts the wild ducks, causing atypically high concentration which favors the bald eagles.
All recommendations welcome…