Kip’s Comments 5-16-18

Marsh Marigolds - Image 505329 (© Kip Ladage)

 
Wildlife Rendering Its Opinion (Warning – Graphic)

Over the years I have learned that if wildlife acknowledges my presence – recognized via eye contact or body language – then it is very likely if I talk to the animals they will not leave. That isn’t always the case, but often it is.   

Today I spotted an adult bald eagle in a tree near its nest containing a young bird. The eagle’s body language confirmed the bird knew I was there, but did not leave. First the eagle looked at me, then it looked up to oversee the area as I talked to it. Notice how it sat with a leg extended, not poised to flee.    

Bald Eagle Comfortable With Me: 

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 505262 (© Kip Ladage)

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 505262 (© Kip Ladage)

 

As I talked to the bird to watch its reactions, it was as if the bird understood what I was saying. Since I had the opportunity to ask one of the top avian predators a few questions, I began asking what I have wanted to know from the viewpoint of an adult bald eagle.   

My first question asked of the bald eagle was if I was bothering the bird by taking its picture. The eagle responded by looking to the side, as if posing with regal dignity. I appreciated the pose, but wish the eagle would have pulled its left leg in.       

Bald Eagle Still Comfortable and Posing:     

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 505283 (© Kip Ladage)

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 505283 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Then I asked the bird what it thought of some of my family and friends giving me grief about my birding and critter watching. I think the eagle knew, as I know, that they are just messing with me. The eagle’s reaction was to turn away briefly, as if telling me to ignore the joking and to do what I enjoy.

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 505264 (© Kip Ladage)

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 505264 (© Kip Ladage)

   

Our conversation was going well, so I posed a complex question to the eagle. “Oh Eagle…how do you feel about my buddy Sean who really gives me grief about birds, especially red-winged blackbirds. And, what are your thoughts on my Other Brother Darrell who has gone to great efforts to spoof bald eagles, including weaving an intricate eagle nest that, when viewed through slightly out-of-focus eyes, appears very real. And what about my other buddy Jason who won’t even slow down when he is driving and I see a possibly good bird picture. He can be so bird-inconsiderate. Oh Eagle, what are your thoughts?”  At that the eagle adjusted its position. I was fearful the bird was going to take flight and pleaded with it to stay. 

Bald Eagle Adjusting Its Position:     

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 505290 (© Kip Ladage)

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 505290 (© Kip Ladage)

 

The eagle obliged and remained on the branch, but it was easy to recognize the bird wanted me to know something. Suddenly the eagle communicated what it thought of Sean’s ribbing, and Darrell’s spoofing, and Jason’s lack of bird compassion. I anticipated what it was going to do, thought its actions to be a bit rude, but had to respect what the bird was feeling. All I could do was get ready to push the shutter release. Sean, Darrell, and Jason – This one is for you!   

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 505291 (© Kip Ladage)

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 505291 (© Kip Ladage)

                   

Let’s bring today’s post back to reality.   

Early this morning we had a hermit thrush and a male ruby-throated hummingbird in our yard. 

Hermit Thrush:   

Hermit Thrush - Image 505248 (© Kip Ladage)

Hermit Thrush – Image 505248 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird:       

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Image 505249 (© Kip Ladage)

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Image 505249 (© Kip Ladage)

 

As I drove down a gravel road early this evening I noticed this large cottontail rabbit that thought I did not see it.   

Cottontail Rabbit in Ditch:     

Cottontail Rabbit in Ditch - Image 505305 (© Kip Ladage)

Cottontail Rabbit in Ditch – Image 505305 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Finally, let’s end this with a pretty picture of marsh marigolds.   

Marsh Marigolds:

Marsh Marigolds - Image 505329 (© Kip Ladage)

Marsh Marigolds – Image 505329 (© Kip Ladage)

 

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