I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Oak Park did not have bald eagles. Oak Park mostly had robins, cardinals and tiny brown birds. Occasionally a kid from school would report having heard an owl. A crow said “Hello” to me at the Trailside Museum during a field trip; I didn’t know crows could talk at the time. When I was ten, running barefoot on Humphrey Street, I stepped on a pink baby bird. I liked birds a lot. Birds were cool.
I still like birds. I still think birds are cool. Cardinals are my favorite and always have been. A pink winged cardinal lives in our glorious backyard. I like to identify the other backyard birds with Peterson field guides. Quick list of the yard birds: goldfinches, blue jays, tufted titmouse (tufted titmice?), pheasant, downy woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and regular gobble turkeys, red tail hawks, red winged black birds, and red bellied woodpeckers.
I didn’t see a bald eagle until mid December or late November in 2009. A bald eagle flew above my car on a drive to Muscatine, Iowa. Now, I see them all the time. Seth saw two of them eating a deer corpse in the field yesterday. I saw a bald eagle on my drive to town today. The eagle was eating possum road kill. I managed to snap a shot of the eagle after it flew away from his lunch and into a cornfield, that bird probably smelled terrible.
I got another pretty good photo of a bald eagle today. I snapped the shot by the Pig slaughtering plant. That was where I saw a big, black, lump in a cluster of trees. I pulled over and walked through mud and dog poop to investigate the big, black, lump. It was, as I suspected, a bald eagle. He looked at me for about twenty seconds before I took out my camera so I could violate his privacy. Of course, the eagle called me a tourist and flew across the river to avoid me.
I’m sure I’ll see more bald eagles this winter. They are truly an awesome bird; carrion eating, scavengers with yellow feet and beaks.