January 27, 2004

Saw a Golden Eagle

My wake up HR was 49 when I woke up. The temperature is 23, but the sun is out for a while and it may warm up a bit. For the past month, our daytime temperatures have mostly been below freezing.

Since today is a rest day and I won't be running, I thought I would relate a nice experience I had a couple of weeks ago while running. There is a section of my 3-mile route that doesn't have houses around it. I was running down that section and a Golden Eagle flew over me and landed on the telephone pole just in front of me. It had been perched on the pole that I had just passed. As I neared the pole, I walked slowly toward it and got within about 20 feet of the pole before the bird flew to the next pole. When it flew over me, and then when it flew away as I walked toward it; it was about 22 feet in the air. I have a good estimate of the height, because I used to work part time as an outdoor tech for the phone company, and the telephone cable on the poles is 18 feet in the air. The top of the pole is around 26 feet high, and the bird dipped a bit as it flew from pole to pole. A beautiful sight!

There were a few times, when I was running in Shrewsbury, MA, that I saw a Golden Eagle. The bird was perched in a particular tree along a rural stretch of road, and it would fly away as I approached. I only got within about a hundred feet of it, but it was beautiful to see and watch as it flew away.

Massachusetts, because of all the trees, has many wild animals, and I've seen, while running, foxes, skunks, porcupines, opossums, and, of course, lots of gray squirrels, along with a variety of birds. While running here in Utah, I saw a coyote and now the eagle. Oh, yes, I've seen lots of Canadian Geese in both Massachusetts and Utah. In Massachusetts they were usually flying overhead in their V formation, but in Utah they are in the fields foraging for food; I walk slowly past the fields and get within 50 feet or so of them before they fly away. One day they flew right over me and were only about 15 feet in the air -- that was exciting!

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