Most everyone was oblivious to the watchful and intense eyes high above them. Yet, there was a certain tingle that let me know that we were not alone. Glancing around, I saw nothing out of the ordinary, but looking up revealed a set of eyes looking at me. The eyes belonged to a very intense eagle, watching over his domain and all below. Watching, and waiting. Quietly and patiently, the mark of an excellent hunter.
The trees in Juneau, Alaska, host bald eagles in their branches, especially the ones near water, either a pond or the ocean. They are easy to spot from far away, provided you know to look for a “golfball in a tree.” Truly, bald eagles from far away look exactly like that, and once you spot their head the rest is easy to see. They sit ever so quietly, motionless, as they look about. An intense eagle, indeed.
Bald eagles are also incredibly patient. They can sit on a branch for well over an hour with barely a rustle of a feather. However, their head is always in motion, looking this way and that, and often turning almost all the way around. They look up, down, and all around, constantly scanning about. Now and then, and especially if they see another bald eagle they will call out, or answer if another calls to them, their high-pitched cries echoing across the trees.
Just because they don’t move much doesn’t mean they can’t move quickly when they need to. Once they spot prey they flow from the perch in a smooth, effortless motion, wings at first furled back then powerfully pushing them at incredible speeds toward whatever target was unlucky enough to catch their gaze.
The intense eagle kept a close watch on us all, as I kept a close watch on him.