Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2004 17:13:34 -0400
Reply-To: Tom Striker <tstriker@DIRECWAY.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Tom Striker <tstriker@DIRECWAY.COM>
Subject: Bald Eagle / Osprey - Fannin County
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My wife Sonja and friends Pete & Barbara Kendrick of Kennesaw shared a great
birding experience with me this morning on Lake Blue Ridge in Fannin County.
We were out for an early boat ride when we spotted an Osprey diving and
capturing a fish (looked like a walleye.) We followed as it struggled to
gain altitude and finally settled to dine in a tall snag. We drifted close
to watch and were watched right back by the Osprey. The bird finally got
tired of us and left carrying the fish. It was briefly joined by a second
osprey. A moment later, an adult Bald Eagle appeared from nowhere and began
harassing the Osprey, trying to make it drop the fish. (Classic but
unseemly behavior from our national bird.)
We watched in awe as the birds dueled across the brilliant blue sky, with
the stronger flight of the eagle allowing it to catch up after every
side-slip, dive, bob and weave of the Osprey. We followed them across the
lake for about 10 minutes before the eagle gave up the chase and allowed the
Osprey to bee-line it across the lake to another dining spot.
The eagle headed for shore and perched in full view in a snag, allowing us
to drift very close. What a wonderful view of a terrific and uncommon bird
in north Georgia!
Osprey are relatively common on LBR and probably nest nearby. I suspect the
eagle was one of the pair that has nested for years on Carters Lake, about
30 miles to the southwest. My first Fannin County eagle and the first time
I've witnessed the behavior I'd read about that characterizes the
relationship between these two great birds.
Blue Ridge, GA (Fannin County)
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