Tag Archives: Birds

Downtown bald eagle

A photograph I did not take, of a bald eagle flying over downtown Madison.

I was waiting at a stoplight on University Avenue this morning, when a large bird in the sky caught my eye.  The dark wings and torso with white head and tail feathers were unmistakable.  It was a bald eagle flying over downtown Madison. A sign that today is going to be a good day.

It’s been reported that the number of bald eagle nests in Wisconsin have broken records the past few years. They’re becoming more common here in southern Wisconsin, and there have been a number of confirmed nests in the Madison area. It’s getting close to the time of the year when eagles begin nesting. Maybe the eagle I saw today was searching for a suitable spot to raise its young?

Call of the hawk

When I first heard the hawk’s call, I was biking at a pretty good clip through a long wooded section of the Wild Goose Trail. I glanced up and saw two red-tailed hawks, flying side-by-side just over the trees above me. I kept pedaling, and about 30 seconds later, one of them called again. Looking up, the same two red-tails were following my pace, flying along directly overhead. Another minute or so down the trail, I heard a third call. Sure enough, both hawks were maintaining their flight position above me. I kept on pedaling, but didn’t see or hear them again after that.

Hawk feather laying in the middle of a trail

About an hour and a half later, I was biking through that same wooded section of trail, on the way back to my car. My body was beginning to tire quickly, and I wondered if I had biked a little too far before deciding to turn back. Just as I needed some motivation, there in the middle of the trail was a hawk’s feather. I stopped and decided it was left there for me as a memento of the experience, and I thanked the hawks for their gift (of the feather and their brief companionship). It was all the inspiration I needed to finish my ride.