Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Feathered Phenomenon

"Faith! Come here quick!" This invariably is the call when a bird in the backyard cannot be identified. The call is usually followed by Faith rushing into the room and, (depending on who the caller is) 60%of the time identifying the bird in question as a common visitor such as a Chickadee, Sparrow or Mourning Dove. A few days ago however the unknown bird turned out to be anything but a common visitor. Grace had the honors of sighting the feathered phenomenon and, rushing into the room where Faith, Josh and a few others were reposing, blurted out that "there's a big bird out back and I think it might be a Bald Eagle!" "A what?" If true, then this was a sighting of the highest magnitude. This occasion was large enough to excite not only Faith and Josh, our main birders, but also the rest of the family, the result being a general rush to the windows. The verbal exclamations that followed proved that Grace's eyes had not failed her and that her original conclusion had been correct. There, in a tree about 100 feet from our house was a gorgeous adult Bald Eagle, enjoying a high protein meal of what turned out to be an opossum, which must have tasted delicious considering that it was warmed by the morning sun and that it had been alive less than 5 minutes ago. For the next 10 minutes the house was filled with gasps and exclamations of, "O my word," "Look at how huge he is," "Isn't he beautiful" and Grace moaning that she couldn't get a good picture of him. We were able to watch the Eagle for about 15 minutes before it flew off, giving us a great view of his enormous wings. Now, for those of you who are not bird fanatics I will give you some information about our national bird. The Bald Eagle has white head and tail feathers while the rest of its body is brown. It is about 31 inches long and has a 6-7½ foot wing-span which is the 2nd largest of all birds. Besides making it large, God also gave it sharp curved talons, (the trademark of raptors) perfect for gripping its prey. After seeing all these wonderful aspects of the Eagle close up, I firmly decided that the raptors are my favorite family of birds. I don't know about you but I think that birds are some of the most intricate, amazing and wonderful creatures in all of God's creation.
~ Josh:)