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Assorted Wildlife, Birds

Guess who came to lunch?

Aquila chrysaetos (chrysaetos for Eurasian eagle) or the Golden Eagle.  Right under our pine tree, a week ago Monday (19 Jan 2015) eyeing up all the ‘happy meals’ in our yard!    Staff from the local falconry had been hunting about in the wood next to our garden and asked that we keep an eye out.  And then up she pops in our yard. Of course, we have seen her flying at the faconry centre itself, but to see her in our own garden, in situ as it were, and quite reluctant to leave was a wonderful treat. According to Wikipedia, This species was first described by Linnaeus in his 1758 Systema naturae as Falco chrysaetos.[31] Since birds were grouped largely on superficial characteristics at that time, many species were grouped by Linnaeus in the Falco genus. The type locality was given simply as “Europa”; it was later fixed to Sweden. It was moved to the new genus Aquila by French ornithologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760. and The golden eagle is part of a broad group of raptors called “booted eagles” which are defined by the feature that all species have feathering over their tarsus, unlike many other accipitrids which have bare legs. Our visitor also was distinguished by the crown of ruffled feathers on her head, a sign that she was not entirely comfortable with the strangeness of her surroundings… The guy from the centre made a point of telling us that golden eagles are ground hunters, I think he mumbled something about grubs and the like.  However, according to Wikipedia, Golden eagles use their agility and speed combined with powerful feet and massive, sharp talons to snatch up a variety of prey (mainlyhares, rabbits, marmots and other ground squirrels).

Winter Watch 2015 As if we needed confirmation, this season’s installment of Winter Watch confirmed the golden eagle’s penchant for small mammals as well as birds. Yes, yes, Winter Watch. You can tune me out now, if you do not want to hear it. As per usual, the camera work, and especially the cameras not attached to humans, were the stars of the show, capturing impressive footage. And, as per usual the apparent stars of the show proved more of a misinformation obstruction. For example, there was quite a bit on the grey squirrel, bit mostly in its murderous relationship to the red squirrel (Winter Watch was in the exact same location as they were last year in Scotland-why?-where most red squirrels can be found in Britain). At one point, Chris P said something like “grey squirrel introduced in the 1800s, carrying a pox and now the only red squirrels are in Scotland” or something like that. Way to go with the objectivity. As if the biased agenda wasn’t in enough evidence, one of the on-going spots on the show was an ‘experiment’ testing who would exploit a new food source the quickest, the red or grey squirrel. Guess which most of the Twitts supported? Guess which the Winter Watch presenters supported, making no effort to appear objective at all? I know my pal Philip Strange would tell me just not to watch. And he would be right. But the camera stuff really is good…

Next time bees, I PROMISE!

Photo Attribution:  Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) at [http://www.chai-negev.net/ Chai-Negev],Revivim, Israel. Source: Taken by Michael Baranovsky {{GFDL}} Category:Aquila chrysaetos\  Can be found at Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_eagle.jpg.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


12 thoughts on “Guess who came to lunch?

  1. gorgeous birds. I hear they intend to cull the grey squirrels – i suppose to save the reds.. Not sure. Eve

    Posted by E.D. | January 25, 2015, 3:23 pm
  2. Oh, those Golden Eagles are beautiful! How exciting to have them visit you and your tasty little mammals…?

    I don’t know what “Winter Watch” is–presumably a nature show?

    Posted by Tina | January 25, 2015, 5:49 pm
  3. What a treat to see an eagle so close up. Must have been very exciting and makes a change from sparrows.

    Ah yes, Winterwatch! I was out last Thursday evening and when I got in I discovered my wife and daughter traumatised after having watched that evening’s show. They agreed exactly with your assessment – great filming, lousy presenters who trivialise. They also told me about an incident with hare poo and a malteser. Family are recovering slowly.

    Posted by philipstrange | January 25, 2015, 9:56 pm
    • Yes, I was quite impressed and I have to admit a little in awe. The darn thing came up to my knee in height!

      I hope your family has recovered. I have to admit we fast-forwarded through that part trying to avoid the inevitable hijinks. It’s really only bearabe if you record it first….

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | January 26, 2015, 3:31 pm
  4. Wow now that’s not something you have in your garden everyday is it. A bigger bird table Is in order I think! At least it was easy for them to collect. Today you will be back to your normal visitors I dare say. Interesting stuff though.

    Sent from my iPad


    Posted by Rob And Nic Warner | January 26, 2015, 9:22 am
  5. What’a treat you have there! I wish I could have a Golden Eagle visit my garden. We have Bald Eagles, Red Tails & Cooper’s Hawks around here but the Bald Eagles tend to stay near the water and the others drop by long enough to nab songbirds for lunch, then leave.

    Posted by P&B | January 27, 2015, 4:48 am

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