Monday, January 9, 2012

January 8: Duck and Cover

My dad was very anxious to report to me an avian drama playing out at their house. Three bald eagles--two adults and one younger bird--were repeatedly diving at a little duck swimming around in the partially open water of the river in front of their house. One of the eagles would swoop down, and the duck would dive underwater to escape. It would stay under for a while, but when it finally popped up for air, another eagle would attack again. My dad theorized that they were trying to exhaust the duck to the point at which one of them could catch it. Its compatriots waited on the ice and in a tree, no doubt prepared to battle the hunter for the eventual prey. Diving underwater was the duck's only hope for survival, as out of water, it would have indeed become a sitting duck, an easy mark.

The tactic paid off. The eagles moved on for easier prey, and the duck lived to see another day.

Three eagles, one duck.
Sometimes the odds mean nothing:
lucky duck escaped.

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