Date: 1/13/18 5:53 pm
From: roger freeman <carrotguy55...>
Subject: [obol] Bald Eagle attacks Cackling Geese at 1500-2000' altitude
While working in my yard (east of Silverton OR) this afternoon about 4 pm,
I heard, then watched about 150 Cackling Geese flying over at an estimated
1500-2000' altitude. They were in 3 loose flocks of varying sizes and
heading in a southerly direction. Since I don't get geese flying over our
place very often, I stopped and watched. The skies were clear and winds
calm.

I then spotted an adult Bald Eagle (in the bright evening sunlight, I could
make out the white head) show up a few hundred yards away from the flying
geese. The geese held formation but it was clear the eagle was
positioning for a possible pursuit. As the geese approached a few hundred
meters from the Bald Eagle, the eagle turned towards the geese and started
to pursue from a rear position. The eagle accelerated in and came in
behind the smaller rear group. It wasn't clear if the eagle was flying
higher and possibly making a shallow dive.

Just before I lost the entire group behind the tree line, I could see the
eagle make contact with one of the geese. I have no idea if it made a
successful kill or not. The whole episode from when I first spotted the
geese was about 60 seconds.

I am curious if others have observed a relatively high altitude pursuit
from a Bald Eagle. I found this article from 1986 of a similar observation
of a Bald Eagle attacking a large group of flying Snow Geese but the
altitude isn't clear.
https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/jrr/
v020n02/p00075-p00076.pdf

Roger Freeman
east of Silverton OR

 
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