Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 29, 2011

Yes, it could!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:48 am
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(…Continued from Could it be…?!?)

One soaring eagle began to circle lower and then leveled out for a cliff landing. “She’s going to the nest! She’s headed for the hole! They’ve got a nest! FINALLYYYY!!!!!” Tricia’s binoculars never left their target as her voice got more and more excited. I abandoned my assigned eagle aloft and was desperately searching the wall for which hole she was watching, locating it just in time to see a large dark form standing on the nest edge with two small dark heads poking up. We had thought the heads were ravens, but eaglets are WAY more fun to find.

Eaglet, younger than ours (google image)

High fives were exchanged; our grins gave away the exceptional day in the field. Just an hour earlier I had gotten a “lifer,” seeing a Prairie Falcon for the first time ever. Something had flapped right over our truck; I threw it into park and hopped out with my binocs in time to see a beautiful raptor with whip-like flapping, very elastic and fast, its almost triangular wings propelling it like a bat out of hell. No sooner had we ID’d that than a Northern Harrier popped up out of the grasses, hunting for rodents as it drifted low with its flying V shape and white rump.

Without doubt it helped to have two pairs of eyes there to look for birds; in addition, being in the right place at the right time is crucial. Salt Valley was alive this day, and we were there to participate in the celebration of life. What a rich gift.

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