Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Large neighbours.

We spent an hour in a busy playground. All the while this big fella/gal sat in a cottonwood, watching. Where I grew up, Bald Eagles were scarce. I didn't see a wild one until I was thirteen years old. Kids here, no matter how unobservant, cannot miss the fact that we live among a dense population of these birds--or do they live among us? I have a friend in Ladner who has an eagle that perches in a tree next to her driveway. It regurgitates fish heads onto her car. She calls them "gifts." According to Fraser Valley Birding, as of a few years ago there were more than 250 breeding pairs in the Lower Fraser Valley (ie., Greater Vancouver). When you add non-breeding birds to that number, it makes for a lot of eagles indeed. The numbers will drop for a few months after nesting is finished and many disperse northward, but will increase again in fall as they return south to overwinter.

And then there are Great Blue Herons. They are also locally very common--are expert at plucking expensive goldfish from suburban backyard ponds. I have taken so many pictures of these birds that I wonder why I still do...but if one flaps by at eye level while I'm holding a camera, well, it's a reflex.


Karen said...

Well, there is something so inherently magnificent about both of those species, eating/barfing habits aside, that it's almost impossible not to be amazed by them no matter how common they have become. I will watch an eagle soar for as long as it is visible, even when it's super high up in the sky. And I love to watch herons fish in the shallows at the beach too. Nice shots of your big neighbors!

Kim and Victoria said...

We get quite a few bald eagles around here, but mostly during the winter months. Great blue herons are very common. Still, like you, I enjoy seeing them.