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Unusual Bird in Downtown Durham - Bald Eagle
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Unusual Bird in Downtown Durham - Bald Eagle
- From: Tom Krakauer <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 20:06:53 -0500
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
This morning is was leaving a meeting in Downtown Durham, and was
waiting to pay the toll at the parking garage. I saw a large raptor being
pursued by 3 crows about 100 feet in front of the car. My impression was
of a very large black raptor with a good show of white at the base of the tail.
It landed and sat on the railing of a water tower about 150 ft
away. Fortunately, I keep a spare pair of binocs in the car. I pulled out
of the garage, and stopped as soon as I could.
I never was able to see the belly of the bird, but am pretty sure it was a
bald eagle, but it had two confusing characteristics.
The back and wings were entirely black as if the bird was 3+ years old, and
ready to achieve adult plumage.
It had a very large yellow bill (almost looked green), the chin and throat
were white. There was a dark patch through the eye contrasting with the
lighter top of the head which was yellow tan.
Now to the confusing characters. The white at the base of the tail seen
while flying is not typical of Bald eagle. There was faint barring on the
tail more typical of Golden Eagle. Hmm.
For Durhamites. It was on the water tower located in the NW quadrant of
the intersection of Morris Street in the loop. e.g. kitty corner from the
Durham Arts Council.
I considered Golden Eagle (head color wrong), Harlan's Red-tailed hawk
(color, bill, and head wrong), Rough-legged hawk (head/bill and chin wrong).
I would welcome any advice, and if any of the Durham birders want to check
it out, I'd appreciate your comments. Please, if you see a Red-tailed
hawk, in the neighborhood compare it with my description before you respond
that red-tailed hawks are seen down town.