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whoa, a bald eagle. niiiice.

I love eagles. I'd never seen one up close and in person until I moved to Iowa last year. Now they're literally in our back yard (and down the street, and especially by the river and lake). However, one time I came upon 2 of them in a field, and in a very undignified manner, they were fighting over a raccoon carcass. Much nice to watch them fish!

My favorite eagle encounter was on the shoreline of Lake Superior when thirty feet above my head one, uh, eliminated in a truly awe-inspiring display of nature's fury which thank god was directed at right angles to where I stood.

We get nesting crows about once every two years in a big pine out back. You get to where you can tell when they're running off a hawk or a jay, and it is a sight. I heard the predator call from the front yard one day a couple years ago--it had never come from that direction before--and looked out to find them divebombing a woodchuck. I didn't even know we had woodchucks.

Grackles, too, another maligned bird. They chase crows the way crows chase hawks, but it takes a larger, community effort. And they can take bigger risks. Crows don't dare get below a hawk.

You'd enjoy Bernd Heinrich's book The Mind of the Raven.

I'm a peaceful person, but watching birds dogfight is a truly enjoyable experience for me. Probably because I've never seen anyone get really hurt. I once watched hundreds of crows mobilize like the Luftwaffe to drive one marsh hawk - maybe a redtail - out of their territory.

I like watching the small birds drive off crows too. It's given me an appreciation for the dogfighting people do in airplanes, which I regret because I truly do hate war.

I'll get that book for Christmas. Thanks for the recomendation.

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