I can't believe I forgot about these photos. While cleaning out my iPhoto cache today I came across a picture of a chukar at Antelope Island in Utah.
Okay, so it's a very mediocre photo of a chukar. I was driving around, just taking photos of anything when I tried to get a shot of this chukar. They are all over the island and I always end up seeing them on the sides of roads or in parking lots. They also have a knack for scurrying in to grass or brush as soon as a lens is aimed at them. Less than a minute after I got this photo, the chukar dove into the grass. I told myself to look up and about 10 feet above my rental car windshield was a golden eagle.
I wasn't able to get a camera on the golden until it was well past, it moving moving fast! Scott Mehus at The National Eagle center says that if you see turkeys running like a bat out of hell from a field near a goat prairie around Wabasha, MN, chances are good there's a gold eagle overhead. The golden made a dive for the chukar and missed it, but boy, what a treat to have right in front of the car.
After that I got bonus time of watching the golden eagle circle on thermals coming off the bluffs on Antelope Island. It was great to be able to see the golden hackle feathers (the feathers on the back of the head).