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The fantastic wildlife in SW Florida !

We've got a bully in our park !

Just feel I had to relate what I just witnessed on the street outside my mobile home ! When I first looked out my front kitchen window at 08:05 AM, on Thursday, March 14, 2019,.. I immediately saw it. It looked like the body of a large black rabbit or cat, squashed in the middle of the street outside, named Blue Heron Dr.,...most likely a night time accident !

Saw more than a few people out walking and glancing down as they passed by. Feeling a bit sad, I went about my morning chores, then 10 or so seconds later, - my eyes were attracted to the wild fluttering of large black wings. There were four large black vultures, just descending and excitedly pecking away at the dead animal.

Checked my computer, then returned to the kitchen sink at exactly 08:30 AM and saw it ! A huge ( 3x larger than the biggest vulture ) bald eagle swooping down on the carcass as the vultures frantically scattered ! The eagle was a majestic sight, seldom have I seen one this close ! His gorgeous white head & neck swiveling around as he sat atop the dead body, and stared down the frightened vultures, now 20 ft away. He wasted little time, after bullying the frightened black birds, he stomped his huge talons on the carcass a few times, - then spread his majestic wings ( must've been a 6 ft wing span ), flapped them once and rocketed off towards the south with the entire body of the dead rabbit or cat drooping down from his talons ! Leaving nothing on the street,..nothing !

The shaken vultures timidly returned, numbering at least 9 by now, but snoop as they might, there was nary a hair left to nibble on. As I walked away from the window I felt truly excited about what I had just witnessed,..so close up yet.

A sight I have not frequently seen here in SW Florida,..or ever seen,..especially for a guy born & raised in the concrete canyons of NW Manhattan ! Just felt I had to share it with my online pals. :o)

Comments (11)

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    That's really cool. The Bald Eagle really showed them who was boss lol. We get both Bald and every once in a while, Golden Eagles up in tall pines peering down longingly into our chicken pens. The chickens run into their coops and really put up a fuss. More often, its hawks and owls causing drama. I like all the birds of prey. I just keep my chicken runs covered with sunshade cloth or wire so they are safe.

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
  • dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida

    It's strange how the hierarchy of nature goes. I saw our red-shouldered hawk being chased off by two mockingbirds the other day. You'd think they'd be afraid of him, but it was fascinating to watch. He would try to turn and fight them, and one would make a sudden turn and nip him, then the other would come around and nip him again. It was like a macabre dance in the air!

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida
  • bea (zone 9a -Jax area)

    What a very cool sight! You have to feel sorry for the vultures but happy for the eagle. Out of curiosity were they black vultures or turkey vultures? Blacks have very short tails, grey/black heads and white feathers at the wing edges. Turkeys have long tails, red heads (juvies have grey/black heads) and are all black.

    Sultry those golden eagles are probably juvenile balds (same size as adults). They take two years to attain adult plymage and are often mistaken for goldens. Goldens are a lot larger than balds and have been seen in FL but cery rarely. So rare in fact that a rare bird alert gets put out in our birding forums when that happens. BTW I envy you having balds around. They are such beautiful birds. one of the highlights as a birder happened years ago when the clean up of the Valdez Alaska oul spill was in full swing. As a wild bird rehabiltator I spent two weeks up there helping clean ouled birds and one day we got in a bald eagle. It was breathtaking to be inches away from that bird. I will never forget it.

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked bea (zone 9a -Jax area)
  • jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a )

    bea : They were black vultures for sure, we have hordes of them hereabouts !

  • Glenn Jones(9b)

    That is a excellent morning jofus. I have a bald eagle I see every once in awhile. I always stop what I am doing to watch it. Always hoping for a feather.

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked Glenn Jones(9b)
  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Bea, That must have been facinating to help with the oil spill!

    Oh great, so the Bald Eagles are teaching their babies how to chicken hunt! Lol !! DH got me a good camera and lenses for xmas so I can take some photos when the Eagles and owls are around. I just have to learn how to use it now lol.

    Owls sometimes come in late afternoon/very early evening. I never knew they did that! Scared the c*** out of me the first time a large one swooped down off a branch overhead. He apparently was just sitting over me while the chickens were making a ruckus and I was looking around for a hawk lol.

    I used to let my chickens free range a lot when we had 2 big Broad Breasted Bronze turkey hens (giants of the turkey world) around. I'm sure they would be no match for an eagle if it was intent on getting them but they would stand up real tall and pouf themselves up to appear even larger and make a lot of noise whenever the birds of prey were around. This gave the chickens time to hide. I left a lot of hiding spots around. Now I can only let them out if I'm gonna be home to watch them. I need some more turkeys.

    We live backed up to woods and a branch of a small river behind the property. Our back couple acres are very treed with, pines and oaks and other stuff mixed in. I think thats why there is so much wildlife here. We had deer in our front yard the other night. I haven't seen them that close to the house since we first moved here. The place had been empty awhile..

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
  • jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a )

    These are a few pics wifey recently took nearby, of the sore loser Black Vultures in my story. I see these guys lazily gliding by most every day, very little wing action,...mostly silently and gracefully cruising around on the air currents. They all seem to get along well with each other, but none are pals with the Bald Eagles who also ( in far lesser numbers ) make their homes in the many tall trees found all over this park ! Neighbors who tolerate each other, but that's about it ! LOL

  • judyk_2008 9a DeLeon Sprs. (NW Volusia)

    We frequently see eagles and ospreys. I've seen them take over dinner on our road from buzzards a couple times. Once, I watched one trying to catch a fish in our lake for about 20 minutes. It finally sort of sat on the water for a few seconds, then rose victoriously with a fish.

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked judyk_2008 9a DeLeon Sprs. (NW Volusia)
  • bea (zone 9a -Jax area)

    Yup black vultures Jofus. When I rehabbed wild birds I took care of a few. Love those guys! The biggest problem with caring for them as adults is that when they are stressed, as in when they are held by a human, their best defense is to regurgerate their food. As these birds eat carrion you can just imagine the smell…it would make your toes curl!!!

    Sultry we built a top-covered cage attached to our chicken house Because we too live in the woods and have barred owls and red shouldered hawks living around here. So ho free range for my girls but their yard is about 150 sq feet so plenty of room for 8 hens.

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked bea (zone 9a -Jax area)
  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    We get the vultures as well. They are kinda neat.

    Ive seen Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls, and The crazy monkey calling Barred Owls here. The Barred ones like two big trees outside our bedroom window. They really put up a comical racket some nights. There is a meadow of sorts on one side of our property, between us and a neighbor..there are a few trees on one end that they hang out in, even in the daytime. They must find mice or something over there.

    The only bird rehabbing/vetting I do is on our poultry. There's always some drama going on. I've done injections and even sutures on occasion. Not fun but sometimes necessary.

    jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a ) thanked sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
  • jofus, ( Englewood, Fl zone 10a )

    Yeah Judy, - I wish I had a dollar for every wild bird I have seen since moving in here in early 2009 ! My home has a close water view, directly thru the wide space between the two homes across the street,..bringing into clear focus Lake Sturgeon, which is at least 50 acres in size ! One important reason we have so many interesting birds in here I am sure, - with many of the smaller guys contributing to the concert ea morning ! :o)

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