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