We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Today it's a powerful and majestic predator, which comes to mind because our friends who cover hawk migration in New Haven, CT, have seen a few of them passing through recently.
Lucky them. I have never seen a Golden Eagle in the Eastern US, but have seen them in the West, where they are not uncommon. Medium-sized mammals are their main prey, and the wide, open spaces are their dominion.
Picture by J. J. Audubon, as can be easily recognized by the awkward and un-lifelike pose of the animal. Audubon typically painted from dead specimens - he was a famous shot with a rifle, and he liked to get a good, close look at the animal he was painting.
You know, I was once told that I was seeing things when I spotted a Golden Eagle sailing gracefully over head one late Fall Saturday afternoon when I was walking through our hay field back in CT. My two companions, long time birders, said it was a big hawk.
HA!! Turns out I wasn't seeing things after all as it was a Golden Eagle - and if I had my photo DVD unpacked (we're still unpacking believe it or not), I'd post the picture I took.
Bird Dog, I have seen golden eagles migrating at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in eastern Pennsylvania. They are the last of the great raptor migrations each fall, mostly passing through in late October and throughout November. They are mighty birds of prey.
More interestingly, my late father frequently saw one soaring on clear summer days one summer about fifteen years ago. I was visiting him in his back yard in Central Pennsylvania one day and he pointed out a large raptor soaring high above us. We watched through binoculars for three quarters of an hour, it never once flapped its wings, riding the thermals. At one point it dropped low enough we could clearly identify it by the naked eye, it had a huge wingspan, nearly seven feet.
I reported it to Hawk Mountain staff, they said it was impossible, goldens don't summer this far south. But we saw it many times all summer, so maybe this bird just didn't like Canadians or something :)