Date: 3/31/21 8:06 pm From: Gary Bletsch <garybletsch...> Subject: [Tweeters] a teal hide between two geese
Today, the 31st of March, a pair of Canada Geese fended off several attacks by a pair of Bald Eagles. This was on the Butler Flats, in Skagit County west of Sedro-Woolley.
It always surprises me how a goose can defend itself from the attacks of an eagle. In this case, the two geese were in a puddle at the edge of a wetland along Kelleher Road. A Bald Eagle kept diving on them, talons spread, but the geese stayed close together, flapped their wings, and snapped with their bills. The eagle made four or five strafing runs, to no avail. Then another Bald Eagle, presumably one of the pair that nests nearby, came flying in. The second eagle made one attack, failed to kill any prey, and flew off, with the other eagle behind it.
It was at least a minute into this whole drama before I realized that there was a little bird swimming around between the geese. A lone hen Green-winged Teal seemed to be taking advantage of the geese's defenses, always staying close to them during the attacks. As soon as the eagles flew off, the teal and the geese shook their feathers a bit, then floated there for a few minutes.
Other fun birds today included some new arrivals at my place, including a Tree Swallow, a Turkey Vulture, and a singing Savannah Sparrow. Rarest find of the day was an immature GOLDEN EAGLE that was flying near the Samish East Ninety. I observed this bird from the West Ninety as it flew along the Samish River, heading south.
Interesting also was the near total lack of swans on Butler Flats and Samish Flats. I saw a total of four Trumpeters during an afternoon's birding.
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