Thursday, December 13, 2007

Raptor On The Merrimack

Yesterday, I saw something I've never seen in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: a Bald Eagle. I was talking to the IT person at my current gig when I looked out the window and saw this large dark bird with a white head and white tail feathers swooping over the Merrimack River. It was a pretty amazing sight and it reminded that in August, after writing "Hawk vs. Crows" I had mentioned that I would post about some of the raptor activity I'd seen over the summer.

Well fall has passed as well and I never did that post, so here is a brief rundown of some of the more memorable things I've seen.

In late June Mrs. Agricola and I were at a Red Sox game. At some point in the early innings I looked into center field and saw a falcon soaring around. It alighted on the large John Hancock sign in center field, sat thee for a couple of batters and then was gone. I'm sure that it was the same falcon that I used to see when I worked in the Prudential Center.

In mid-summer a moving van nearly hit a huge Red Tail about 400 yards from the Quarter Acre. The bird swooped low across the road and banked sharply and nearly vertically up the front of the truck's box to avoid being hit. I got a great view of its breast and wings and tail feathers as I drove by in the opposite direction.

We visit Mrs. Agricola's father on Cape Cod frequently during the summer and the Ospreys are all over the place down there. As a kid it was rare to see the Sea Hawk, but they are everywhere now -- their huge nests resting atop perches built for that purpose as well as on power line towers.

Up until about a month ago I was working in Harvard Square where a Peregrine Falcon often caught my eye. I didn't see this bird too much this summer but did notice that it had returned in the Fall.

I jumped back into the freelance market in mid-November and took a job up in Newburyport, MA. I cover about 53 miles each way up I-95/128 and there are loads of Hawks along the ride. At least twice over the past three weeks I've seen a large hawk standing in the median strip, in the grass, in the same place each time. I don't why he's there but the fact that he's in the same spot leads me to believe that he's not just made a kill. His northern-Mass kin all sit in trees, but he's on the ground.

Nothing compares to the Eagle though, that was an amazing site.

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