Friday, February 13, 2015

In Which The Maybe Eagle Proves Elusive

One of may crows that were together south of the Cedar River during my bicycle ride today.

Was it an eagle? Was it Superman? Perhaps it was a duck.

The cloudy cool day turned sunny and cool this afternoon. I met with my wife before leaving campus, and she said, “I bet you go to the lake to look for eagles.”

And so I did. And even though a bit of a cold wind was blowing, it was so nice to be outside riding The Beast that I continued past the lake, through downtown Cedar Rapids. I was debating about going south to ride along the river, or maybe swinging over to the Prairie Parks Fishery. But as I neared the bridge of the lions, where I would either go left to Prairie Park or right to ride along the river in the Mount Trashmore area, I saw a shape in the sky near the horizon over the river.

Whatever was flying over the river was too far away to be sure. But as it circled, it had a straight-out wing shape to it. And as it wheeled away, its tail looked white.

Like an eagle’s tail.

So I decided to turn right and ride in the direction of the elusive eagle.

As I got into the woody area past the destroyed old rail bridge, a convention of crows was going on. They were all around me, flying back and forth, quothing rude things in their gravelly raven voices. Somehow, I didn’t mind. It felt like they were out enjoying a fine afternoon, even as they rudely yelled at the passing biker.

But as I went, I saw no signs of the eagle, if eagle it was.

It was getting close to 4, and it was cool enough I decided I did not want to be out in the cold dark—which meant, given that I was 8 or so miles from home, that it was time to turn around. By now, I was approaching Tait Cummins Park, when I spied a large bird sitting in a tree next to the trail.

It wasn't an eagle—it was a hawk. Comment if you know what kind, since, as you can see, I got some close pictures of this bird.

Hawk in tree right by trail near Tait Cummins Park.

Well, I did not get any eagle images. I turned back and headed to the bridge. There, I paused. A straight-at the shoulder pair of birds was again far off over the river, wheeling around, when one turned my way.

I got my camera out and waited to snap my eagle picture.

But, as it got close, it turned out to be a duck.

Well. The bird that I spied earlier? Was it a duck or eagle? It was so far away that I can’t be sure, but I still think it was an eagle.

Still, I have not yet officially fulfilled my eagle quest this year during these winter bike rides, because I can’t be sure about the bird I saw in the distance

But the hawk was pretty cool. And it was still a nice, if chilly, day for a ride. And the crows acted like I was entertaining to them.

Two more hawk images. I did not seem to care that I was taking its picture.

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