If you were here yesterday, you know I had a pretty raptoriffic encounter with a very cooperative Bald Eagle along a country road.
So if yesterday's post could be classified as sort of a "GEE WHIZ, WOWSERS, YOWZA!" kind of eagle post, today's will be a calmer, (BUT DAMN! IT WAS SO COOL!), ... ahem, look at some eagle parts.
First, thank you birders for your input, and especially, Julie Zickefoose, thank you for the gender probability.
I'm referring to this eagle as a "She" from now on, because:
A) Zick seems to think she is a girly girl.
B) I have a policy here that anything beautiful is a "she" if I am not really sure about the gender.
Before we get started, let's pause and thank Rachel Carson.
I'm pretty sure, (having grown up in the scarce bird of prey- DDT era), that we owe our eagles and ospreys to her.
Now, let's poke and prod this ea-girl.
(I can't bring myself to call her a hen)
She's big! I left the fence and road in this shot so you had some size reference. This encounter made me curious about how much an eagle might weigh ... 8 to 16 pounds ... which is quite a range if you think of it.
A little cruising about the net showed that the weight of her feathers exceeds that of her skeleton.
|Her feet are big, bone-crushingly powerful, and equipped with scimitar claws that would make Raptor Red proud.|
|It wasn't cold on the day of my eagle encounter, so I am guessing the fluffy aspect here is to show me how big and bad she is.|
Duly noted oh "Taloned One".
|Even though I kept a pretty respectful distance, there was a moment when she thought about taking her meal elsewhere.|
She picked it up.
|There were a few hoppy, flappy attempts to take it somewhere else, but in the end, she decided to keep dining right where she was.|
|It's good to have your nostrils high on your bill if you plan to spend lots of time plunging that thing into carrion.|
|Her bill ... what can you say about it? |
An avian Ginsu.
We all know she's got super vision, but until yesterday, I didn't realize she has two fovea in each eye.
You have one.
Go look it up.
|She also has a nictitating membrane for some extra eye protection.|
Just like sharks.