Robert and I got a really special treat today. We took a quad ride all by ourselves today since our friends had other commitments. As we were driving down Pyeatte Draw Road, near Payson, Arizona, I noticed a bald eagle flying low through the trees. At one point I had one eagle fly over the road in front of me and one behind me.
Ooooh!!!! I was so excited!!! Not one but two eagles!!! Of course, they were way too fast and low for me to get shots of. I did manage to get shots of one that was at a pretty good distance from me. They sure don't sit still for very long! Too bad the sun wasn't on the other side of this one, that would have made an excellent shot!
Up in the sky you could see and hear all kinds of crows. Looking up into the sky we saw what we thought were red-tailed hawks. After seeing all the birds in the area that don't normally hang out together we got curious and had to explore. We knew there had to be a food source around somewhere.
As we were walking through the forest we heard the birds getting louder and louder, especially the crows. Sure enough, there was an elk carcass lying on the ground (I'll spare you that picture, yuck!) and as Robert and I walked closer the crows took to the air. They weren't too happy about it either. By this time, all the other birds decided they didn't want to be around humans so they were off somewhere else counting on the crows to chase us off, I guess.
We sat quietly near the carcass hoping to let everything settle down and maybe get a few shots of the birds coming in, also hoping to get the eagles and what we thought were hawks back. Well, they weren't having any of that! A couple of crows would come in to check things out, spot us, and go tattle to every other bird in the forest. Ugh!
So we decided to just go get the quads and come back up the road we had walked. We stopped and had lunch far enough away from the carcass to not be bothering the birds but close enough that we could get shots of some as they flew around. Mostly we just saw crows and more crows. They sound really nasty when they're feeding and fighting. They call that a group a "murder" of crows, don't they? LOL. How fitting! We did see one large bird flying around. At first we thought it was a hawk of some kind but later found out that it was something else. That one decided we were still too close and he went away.
After we ate lunch, we decided to give up on the crows and the bigger birds and we left. On our way out, we saw the bald eagle fly over the road again. That is one tricky bird! So, we started looking for it in the trees and found even more big birds. The ones that we assumed were hawks are actually juvenile bald eagles, that includes the previous one we saw flying in the air! Oh how awesome! I had to look them up on Google to verify what I was seeing when I got the pictures up on the computer.
Just look at the grip this guy has on that tree! Oh wow! Those talons are huge!
This one didn't have extended tail feathers like the other ones. I couldn't figure that one out. Maybe he/she has them tucked just right to where I can't see them at the angle I'm looking at.
More HUGE talons!!!
Beautiful, beautiful birds!!! I think he/she is tapping those talons impatiently. Uh oh, better get going!
We never did get another picture of the adult because he flew every time we got anywhere near him but it was so cool to see all the others in the area! What a treat that was!