Friday morning came, and with the second cup of coffee I saw a snow goose flying in from the east, pursued by a bald eagle. When we lived in the flyway it was fairly common to see a snowgoose knocked from the sky by an eagle – but here, with the ponds, the eagle attacks on geese are at the close-up level.
The bald eagle wasn’t my resident eagle – this one was a lot larger. I’m making the guess that the snow goose was flying east of us, and Dickey Lake was still ice-covered the day before – so, under attack in the sky, the goose headed west. The eagle didn’t give the goose enough space to land on the circle pond. They crossed the pond by Fortine Creek Road, and the goose made its own luck, cut back 180 degrees and plummeted into the midst of a dozen goldeneyes on the pond.
After that we watched the eagle attempt to dive past the goose and grab – at least 30 times, each time unsuccessful. I hadn’t realized that a highly motivated goose can dive almost as well as the small ducks. It was quite a show – but life or death for the goose. After the eagle finally left the Snow seems to have decided to buddy up with the Canadian – a single white goose with a black stripe, grazing with the Canadians that are just beginning to nest.
The first goose lost to an eagle in front of us was one with angelwing – the little guy could almost fly, maybe 50 yards or so, but couldn’t leave for the winter. Almost made it through until Spring – we had left the aerator on to keep a little open water, and the Canada goose could camp under the footbridge – but when the Golden Eagle caught it out in the open it didn’t have much chance.
I can find a lot of pictures where the eagle won – but somehow I couldn’t quit watching to go for a camera while I watched the snow goose get away.