Top photo: Eagle far away through the trees in Gold Bar. Bottom: top photo enlarged. Photos by Joe Beavers. CLICK TO ENLARGE
An eagle up close. Golden eagle at Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center at Auburn University. Photo by J. Glover - Atlanta, Georgia/Wikimedia Commons. CLICK TO ENLARGE
(GOLD BAR, WA.) -- In real estate they say one thing is everything: location, location, location.
Location is also critical when it comes to observing wildlife here in the Sky Valley and around the Pacific Northwest. You have to be in the right place at the right time.
And so it was that Gold Bar's Joe Beavers was lying on the grass on a sunny day recently and was looking up through the trees. And what did he see?
"Sometimes you get lucky and get to see an eagle go by," said Beavers. And so it was that he snapped the photos you see at upper right.
The Chronicle's staff ornithologist examined the photos carefully and deduced that the eagle in the photos is indeed a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) which is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere.
It belongs to the family Accipitridae, not that anyone is counting.
Golden eagles are very fast and they use their agility and speed (along with powerful feet and sharp talons) to scoop up a variety of prey for breakfast and supper including hares, rabbits, marmots and other ground squirrels.
They build large nests in really high places (mainly cliffs) to which they may return for several breeding years. Sometimes these big birds will steal an iPad and take it to the nest so they have something to do to pass the time up there.