Eagles make close encounters in area neighborhoods
This young golden eagle settled for several minutes in a yard in north Grand Junction on during a break in the weekend rain.
Though most people think of eagles as hunting exclusively from aloft, this bird was most likely hunting at ground level, Bruce Bauerle, professor of biology at Mesa State College, said.
Golden eagles actually spend a fair amount of time on the ground in search of prey such as jackrabbits, cottontails and prairie dogs, Bauerle said, noting that he and members of his ornithology class recently observed a golden eagle searching the land near Highline Lake using just such a tactic.
That the bird settled on the ground for a bit was unsurprising, Bauerle said. That he allowed a videographer to approach to about 15 feet was, Bauerle said.
Sure enough, after about 10 minutes of sitting on the ground, the eagle spread out his wings and soared off in search of better prospects.
“Golden eagles are so much cooler than bald eagles,” which frequently feed of something another predator has killed, Bauerle said. “The golden eagle, he’s a hunter.”