Being situated where we are between the Toussaint River and Lake Erie, we are directly in the migratory path of thousands of raptors that take this route each spring and fall. Got a thing for Red-Tail Hawks? Come on over! Wanna see some Bald Eagles? No problem!
The raptors are on the move this time of year. They've spent the summer raising their chicks and now it's time to fly to their wintering grounds to fatten up again. Earlier today I heard the chooks scream in the front yard. When I went out to investigate I saw a male Cooper's Hawk fly away. He tried to get one of my chickens, but they are very alert and they got under the porch safely. When he flew away he looked back as if to say, "Oh don't mind me. I'm just passing through."
This afternoon I heard a warbling scream coming from the back yard and knew it was a big raptor. I grabbed my camera and headed to the back deck in time to capture this Bald Eagle soaring on the thermals overhead. He was heading south and I watched him circle and spiral from the north edge of the Twelve Acres to the south edge. Big raptors can only migrate when the sun heats up the earth and creates thermals. They soar on the rising warm air which allows them to conserve their precious energy instead of wasting it flapping their wings.
I'm still choked up.
How many people get to watch our nation's symbol soaring directly above their own home? I am one of the lucky ones.
These shots were iffy at best. I was aiming almost directly into the sun and I was going blind!