Nature & You: 'Tis the season for eagle-watching
'Tis the season for eagle-watching
Your "marching orders" are for you to keep your eyeballs peeled.
On face value, that sounds like that is going to hurt.
I jest, of course. It's just my whimsical admonition for you to be extra-observant of those nature things that surround you.
Be on the lookout for bald eagles. The majority of the bald eagles in central Oklahoma are here after they migrate from their summer homes up near Canada. The calendar dates of November through March are when you need to be extra-vigilant. If you are attentive, you might be rewarded with a quick glimpse as these shy birds fly past your field of view.
Then again, what you are actually looking at might be nothing more dramatic than a vulture.
Both of these large birds look very similar. It is not impossible, however, to differentiate between the two. In flight, the vulture holds its wings in a way that is described as being a "dihedral." That's a fancy-schmancy word that means nothing more than the fact the wings are angled upward. In sharp contrast to this are the outstretched wings of the bald eagle. In profile, the eagle wings are flat as a board, all the way across from tip to tip.
The vast majority of the large birds you will see will be representatives from the abundant population of vultures. Count yourself indeed fortunate if you happen to see a bald eagle.
At the very least, it is a fun and challenging game to play this autumn/winter season.
— Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor
Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center.