By Bruce Stambaugh
Birding is so much fun. You just never know what you will find, see happen, and be able to document.
As I was returning home recently, I spotted a Bald Eagle high in a sycamore tree right beside the highway. I turned the car around as quickly and safely as I could and parked well away from the bird. Just as I exited my vehicle, the eagle flew low across Cooks Creek near Harrisonburg, Virginia, and landed in a pasture field. I was in luck but didn’t know just how fortunate I would be.
As I hurried along the roadway, I noticed a black Angus steer move towards the eagle. The steer was about half-way between the eagle and me. Soon it broke into a gallop, which drew the eagle’s full attention. The steer stopped at the west side of the creek bank opposite the eagle on the east side.
If they had a discussion between them, it was short. The steer bounded down the embankment and into the creek towards the eagle. Of course, the eagle flew straight back for the sycamore tree. At the last second, the magnificent bird changed course and zoomed back over the steer and out of sight.
Whether you are a birder or not, this indeed was a once in a lifetime occurrence. I’m exceedingly glad I got to see and photograph it.