Today, well in advance of the usual schedule, a bald eagle showed up at a favored perch – a riverside dead cottonwood which is visible from the road in Rinconada. My prior post, of 11/20, reported the arrival of the goldeneye ducks, opining that the eagles would be following them south. In years past, however, I’ve not seen the eagles before mid-December. So this guy is about 3 weeks early! The eagles come down from points north, following one of their favorite prey items – the goldeneyes, who find open water on the Rio Grande. Once here, the eagles subsist on fish as well as ducks, and whatever else they can snatch up.
As you drive Hwy 68 along the Racecourse stretch of the Rio Grande, you’ll see eagles perched in dead junipers on the far side of the river. Upstream, in Orilla Verde, they will perch in junipers, ponderosa pines and on boulders. Here is a pic of a bald eagle from years prior.