Interlude with Soaring Eagles, Colorful Blackbirds, and a Non-Ninja Turtle

After the week we’ve had, it’s time to relax with some neato wild critters. B and I took a healthy walk at Juanita Bay and saw about ten trillion birdies. There were so many ducklings, you guys, and I will have to find more time to sort through them. At the moment, however, we shall focus mostly on eagles, with also some beautiful blackbirds and one awkward turtle.

There were so many eagles, you guys. I didn’t even realize they were eagles at first, because there were bunches of them, and I’m not used to eagles flying in flocks. Then we got a better look, and a gentleman out there with a hyoooge camera lens pointed out the two juvenile balds, and then later we got a good look at the adults, and yep, eagles. Eagles everywhere.

Image shows four eagles flying in loose formation.
A flock of eagles. WTF?

There was a fifth one, but it didn’t make it into the picture. Alas. I think they were all after delicious ducklings, but the mamas were really good at hiding their bebbes in the reeds and trees, so I believe all they got today were some fishies. We saw an enormous salmon looking for the mouth of Forbes Creek, too, but I couldn’t get a good photo of it. It would’ve been epic if one of the eagles had seen it and gone “Bonzai! Dinners!” and the salmon had been all like, “Oh, hell no!” But the eagles were off looking for baby duckies at the time.

Here is a film that shows various eagles doing various things all over the bay. It was really super hard to see ’em in the screen and they were very fast, but I got a little footage for ye.

There were also so many red-winged blackbirds, you guys! Crowds of ’em. A lot of the guys were singing “I’m too sexy, right, ladies?!” and the ladies were busy doing things down in the reeds, getting ready to nest or taking care of nests, not sure which. But it surely looks like we won’t have to worry about the red-winged blackbird populations around here, nossir.

Most of ’em were doing their hang-out-on-a-cattail-lookin’-sexxy or perching in a branch and shouting their virility to the skies, but two of the boys actually hung out together for a bit. I’ve never seen them do that before, so it was pretty neat.

Image shows two red-winged blackbirds side-by-side on a wooden rail.
Heyo, bro.

They didn’t act like they were sizing each other up, or getting ready to fight, or do a dance-off. They seemed to just be hanging, like they were pals or something. D’aw.

One of the blackbirds has turned and is facing the other direction. They're just chillin.
How’s things?
Oh, y’know.

Unfortunately, a couple of ladies scared them away, so I didn’t a better close-up. But a bit later, I got possibly the best photo of a red-winged blackbird I’ve ever taken, and I didn’t actually think it had a chance in hell at coming out.

Image shows a red-winged blackbird perched in a maze of thin branches covered in pale gray-green lichen. The red patches on its wings are practically glowing against its surroundings.
I shall just lurk here in this spooky old tree and look awesome. Because I am.

I tried to record some of their calls for those as likes ’em, but it was a little too windy for my poor microphone. Oh, well. We’ll have lots of opportunities with lots of blackbirds in the future. Trust me on that.

I was unfortunately too busy gawking at flocks of eagles to see the big turtle knock the littler one into the water like an utter bastard, which would have led to such an excellent opportunity to get a photo appropriate for a “Hey, you, get offa my log!” caption, but I did film the little guy struggling onto the log further down. Poor things. It’s not easy being encased in armor.

Like B says, he’s not quite a ninja turtle. But he wanted everyone to know he was mighty.

Image shows a turtle with a red stripe over its eye, its little head raised, and its mouth open wide.
“I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” Walt Whitman

In case you’re wondering, his barbaric yawp sounded sort of like a wet sucking hiss noise. Then again, I’m not sure what a yawp is, or how such a silly word can sound barbaric anyway. It doesn’t matter. What matters is, he’s yawping, barbarically. Do you love him? I love him. Or her. Whichever. It’s one of the most awesome turtles at Juanita Bay.

That was lovely, and then we went to Taco Del Mar, and sat outside, and there were some other lovely birdies which I shall show you soon. Then I went home, and found the wind had blown the door closed. Fortunately, Misha hadn’t been in the bedroom when it happened, so she’d gotten to spend the afternoon out on the porch. She looked quite surprised when I returned and found her. It’s good to see her enjoying her outside times. She’s so damned old, I’m always afraid the next sunny day will be her last, but she’s been doing fairly well lately. This is twenty-one years this month we’ve been together. Blackjack. We made it. Not many kitty mommies get to have so much time with their fur-babies.

Do you want our Not-a-Ninja Barbaric Yawp Turtle or our fantastic red-winged blackbird added to the Red Bubble store? I can definitely do that. Sometime. In between writing books and blog posts and stuff.

Interlude with Soaring Eagles, Colorful Blackbirds, and a Non-Ninja Turtle

5 thoughts on “Interlude with Soaring Eagles, Colorful Blackbirds, and a Non-Ninja Turtle

  1. rq

    I love redwing blackbirds and I miss them terribly, those brightly-spotted harbingers of spring. None on the continent here, alas – perhaps we can think about introducing, say, a single breeding pair…?

    I love how appropriate the Walt Whitman quote is for the turtle. I’ve always considered a ‘yawp’ to be something between a ‘caw’ and a ‘yaaaaaah’, where you drop your jaw like you’re yawning but a lot shorter. Sort of like the noise your cat makes when it’s slightly pissed off and wants food. Not that cute little meow sound, but that ‘hooman get thee to fetch me maah FOOD’ yawp. I suppose.
    Definitely not hissing, though. Turtle’s doing it wrong.

  2. 3

    This spring I think there’s more redwinged blackbirds around than ever before. I don’t always see them, but I hear them all the time. I love the way the males slowly move their wings to show their colors. It’s weirdly awkward-looking.
    There’s a bridge over Lake Quinsigamond that you can always see turtles from, if the sun is out. I had quite a nice conversation with a man there the other week. I was looking at the turtles and he was looking at a giant carp.
    The great thing about multiple-turtle basking spots is that you’ll see big turtles in the widest spot, say a tree trunk, and as the branches get thinner there are progressively smaller turtles on them. They’ll go from large ones right down to inch-wide turtles, looking like somebody went to a lot of trouble to sort them.

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