Date: 3/7/17 4:23 pm From: Richard Price <rprice210...> Subject: Good Day for Raptors at Wildwood Park Dauphin County
I had a good afternoon for raptors at Wildwood Park, although wet and drizzly. When I arrived there was a stocky immature Cooper's Hawk in one of the trees adjacent to the outflow from the lower lake by the South parking lot. It was quite out in the open and readily visible to the naked eye. This was a much younger bird than the adult I photographed by the bird feeders eating a dove back in January. It still had the vertical stripes characteristic of a young bird.
After checking the feeders at the Nature Center, I was heading back out of the South parking lot when I spotted a man watching a large bird being harassed by crows in a tree along the Towpath. The bird was facing the lake. The man thought it was a hawk. I parked the car and walked up the Towpath about 50 yards to get a better look with my bins. What I saw was an immature Bald Eagle, perhaps 3rd year, with white just starting to show behind its neck and yellow on its bill. In a few seconds the crows succeeded in chasing it to the other side of the lake where it lit in a tree near the site where Red-tailed Hawks frequently perch. Within a minute a red tail appeared and perched behind the eagle. The size difference was quite apparent. Within a short span, a second red tail showed and perched to the side of the eagle. I watched for a few minutes in the rain and then headed back to my car. As I drove out the eagle was still in view from the parking lot.
Although adult eagles occasionally fly over at Wildwood Lake, this is the first time I have ever seen a young eagle in the park, and it was perched.