Knowing the wind would be cold and blustery at the Falls of the Ohio in November, we dressed warmly and joined the Beckham Bird Club on a Saturday morning bird walk. We hit the jackpot today for raptors, sighting a Peregrine Falcon, three American Kestrels, a Cooper's Hawk, and a Red Shouldered Hawk camouflaged at the top of a tree snag.
It was bound to be a great day when this juvenile Bald Eagle soared over the parking lot as we got out of the car! It was considerate enough to circle around a few times till I got my camera out and turned on.
A few minutes later, we spotted a second juvenile Eagle, and for a while, both were visible at the same time as they walked around on the fossil beds. Remember, it takes five years for a Bald Eagle to mature and get its white head and tale, but until then, they have varying amounts of white on their wings and body. This one has quite a lot of white on its belly.
We only saw one or two vultures this morning, which is unusual for the Falls, but it was easy to distinguish the flat wings of the eagle from the dihedral of the vultures.
Before we left at the end of the morning, one eagle swooped over the water with his feet extended and grabbed a fish out of the water. The gulls scattered thinking he was coming after them instead!
We climbed to the top of the levee, as as we caught our breath, a Kestrel swooped around, flashing his wings, then landed on a perch next to a female which is probably his mate. A third Kestrel flew off in another direction. What a wonderful way to start the day!