Saturday, May 13, 2006

Low Flying Birds

I live on a narrow ridge on the way to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. There are some interesting things that happen when you live on a ridge.

Birds flying from point A to point B are pretty determined about flying. Last winter while sitting at my computer I turned to look out the window. A Bald Eagle was flying by like a transport plane, just about at eye level. I went outside to see where he was heading, and saw him take a straight path almost due south.

Now that was strange - exciting, but strange. Eagles are magnificant creatures, especially when seen so closely and in flight. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that the reason for the low flight occurred to me. I was about to get in my car when a Kingfisher flew by at eye level, about a foot from my nose. He didn't seem to notice me, the car, my dogs. Why would he fly by so low?

The birds are on their way somewhere, flying high above the ground and the trees. They come across a ridge, but as long as their path is still above ground and tree level, they don't adjust altitude. They just get very close to the ground at the top of the ridge.

So I get a birds-eye-view of the birds. Life is good!

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