Native yard attracts surprise visitor

By Ana Grace Schactman

Bald eagle in a tree

Bald eagle surveying the landscape

In the early morning of January 4, 2016, I heard crows cawing in our front yard in Webster Groves, and I went out to see what they were fussing about.

A mature bald eagle was perched in one of the tall oak trees in our front yard, determined to outstay the troupe of crows. The eagle was eyeing something on the ground, and when I said a few calming words, the crows suddenly flew away.

Our wild yard is filled with Missouri native trees and plants, and attracts a wide variety of birds, small animals, and pollinators. Last summer, I noticed a family of red squirrels living here. Over the weekend, two of the squirrels were hit by speeding cars in front of the house, and I brought their bodies back to the yard to bury them.

The eagle had come for the carcasses. That’s how nature works.¬†The next time we see the eagle flying over I will thank it for it’s visit and wish it well.

Happy 2016 and keep looking up!

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