Monday, February 1, 2021

It's Been Awhile: Bald Eagle on the Tuolumne River Today

My friends in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada might not be much impressed by a sighting of a Bald Eagle on the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail today. But it was memorable. I saw not a single one on the trail last year (a good friend saw one, though). In fact, I only saw one anywhere in the entire county last year. The last eagle I saw here hung around for a few short weeks in 2019, and that was the first recorded sighting for that part of the river ever (although neighbors have told me of past sightings).

I had been seeing Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks (three of them!) soaring around the western part of the trail, but didn't think much of it. But then a large black shape soared overhead and I saw both a white head and white tail. I tried to get a picture but it was gone. Then I walked back upstream and saw it perched in a cottonwood across the river. Apparently the hawks and the vulture had been expressing a certain amount of concern because they were all circling the perched eagle. The eagle was unperturbed and was still perched in the same spot when I left towards home.