My sister and I were driving just east of the airport today and saw three large, dark birds kettling over an open field. Our first thought was, of course, turkey vultures, since they are so common around here. As we got closer, though, the tell-tale white patches under the wings were missing and the birds weren’t teetering on the wind but smoothly riding it. They were too big to be red-tailed hawks (and too dark) and at least one of them had a white patch in the center of each wing: definitely an immature golden eagle!
It must have been either a mated pair and one juvenile or one adult and two juveniles (it’s hard to keep track of birds when they’re flying over your moving car). It’s been a long time since I’ve see eagles around here. There used to be a pair that hunted in the big open fields just south of Fourth Street, east of Vineyard, but after one was killed by a car several years ago, we stopped seeing them.
We’ve had a new porch visitor in recent weeks, too: a skunk! I think it’s a juvenile, because it’s rather small. I know that skunks carry rabies and (obviously) stink, and that raccoons can attack dogs and cats, but still I get a little thrill out of seeing them right outside my front door. Just knowing that there are raccoons, skunks, opossums, coyotes, owls, eagles, hawks, Canada geese, egrets, rabbits, ground squirrels, and who knows what other creatures out there makes living in the suburbs a little more tolerable.