West Bound and Down!


I'm wrapping up my time in Atlanta and I wait for my flight home to Minneapolis. I have to say that the trade show that I went to was smaller than usual and one had to really search to find something innovative and not just a bird feeder that's been around for over a decade (or in at least one case, close to 50 years) and call it new. But I did find a few gems that I'll post later.

In the meantime, I see that Non Birding Bill took my advice and blogged a birding even he and Mr. Neil witnessed yesterday at the feeders. I love it, I'm in the middle of a trade show, busy looking for article ideas and potential new products for the OpenSky Store and NBB calls, "Okay, don't get mad."

Knowing that he and Mr. Neil were free-wheeling boys while each one's special lady friend was out of town I was a tad concerned when the phone call starts with that. I immediately inhaled a calming breath bracing myself for something like:

"We decided to move the beehives to a sunnier spot...and ended up with a broken spleen."


"We thought of a new bird food recipe involving chocolate a millet and the birds are eating it like mad!"


"Neil and I decided to shave our initials into our hair and now we look totally rad!"


"We chipped in and bought a boat to sail the Mississippi when the ice is out this spring, it's shaped like a coffin!"

You know, the typical shenanigans men can get into when sensible feminine counterpoint is no longer available. But no, it was that they saw some sort of raptor try to take a squirrel and they didn't know what it was or get photos. Bill wrote an epic blog entry to the harrowing tale.

Between you and me, the story during the phone call from the two shifted a bit (I used clever questioning techniques learned from watching Adam-12 all last week). It started that they saw a bald eagle take a squirrel, well maybe not a bald eagle, but way bigger than a hawk, possibly and owl, and well the squirrel did get away and we're trying to find it and it could have been a golden eagle or just a really big ass red-tailed hawk.

Golden eagle would not be out of the realm of possibility. When Golden Eagle 42 was working his way south from the Arctic Circle this fall, he actually flew over Mr. Neil's. He actually roosted within a quarter mile of our beehives one night. I even got a terrible photo of him flying--holy cow, did I ever post that photo? I need to dig that up, that was a cool tale.

However, this morning as I wait for my flight back to the Twin Cities I see Mr. Neil has sent me further (somewhat gruesome evidence of their raptor adventure yesterday).


Here is the squirrel that suffered the apparent attack. Mr. Neil writes, "This was the only squirrel around after the eagle left and we came out with cameras. I wasn't sure if it was the one attacked or not, as I thought the atacked one was a short-tailed guy who had been hanging around that feeder all morning. But looking at the photo, I think it was this one after all..."

Mr. Neil also sent a closer image of the squirrel's head:


I'm not sure that this squirrel is long for this world and I wonder if the raptor in question will be back for it soon? Now I think I have answer to how some squirrels lose their eyes.

Well done, boys, well done.