Barbara A. Lewis - Artist/Naturalist

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The Eagle's Cry

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Recovering from a recent knee injury, I decided to take my camera this past weekend and go to one of our local parks and take a hike down one of its many trails. The park is bordered on one side by a huge lake and has several smaller lakes in the interior. The day was beautiful and a nice change from our stormy weather of late. Bright blue morning sky, lots of activity around the lake edges.

Because I was walking so slowly I was not disturbing the early morning feeders - I captured some nice pics of dragonflies, marsh rabbit, herons and egrets and numerous butterflies. However, when I was coming back down the trail that edged the larger lake, I heard the distinctive call of an eagle. It is a loud call, but  many people believe that the redtail hawk's piercing territorial call is the sound of an eagle thanks to Hollywood. The eagle's cry is loud also, but not as long or piercing. Definately distinctive - once you hear it, you never forget it.

I quickly scanned the horizon and finally spotting him soaring horizontally to me - calling out the entire time. I brought my camera up but realized that he was too far away for a decent shot - and then something amazing happened: for whatever reason, the eagle made a sweeping 90 degree turn and came straight towards me! I kept the camera focused on this magnificent bird and took continous images as passed right over my head - I have had eagle encounters before, but not like this one! 

Heart racing, I walked down the trail to see where he went, when he came back again - passing right overhead and back out over the lake. I watched him until he was a dot in the sky and thanked Creator for sending me such a magnificent bird!! Native Americans hold the eagle sacred and say that he is a messenger from Creator. I have no doubt this bird had a message for me - and my spirits were instantly lifted - injured leg forgotten as I could not wait to get home and tell my husband and friends about my encounter!  

This was one of those moments that will never be forgotten. I will carry the image and sound of this beautiful eagle in my heart forever!

NOTE: The eagle I saw was a juvenile - bald eagles do not get their classic white tail feathers and all white head until maturity - usually about age four or five. That is why so many mistakenly identify them as hawks when they are soaring up in the sky.


A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. - Crazy Horse

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