This past Wednesday I had an encounter with one of the Spencer Marsh birds. At 
6:45am while driving south on NYS-34/96 I was just coming back up from under 
the railroad when I saw an adult Bald Eagle gliding down toward my lane from 
the east. Fortunately the driver ahead of me also noticed in time, and we both 
braked. The eagle was able to abort its landing, rising up into view again. It 
turned back toward the marsh where it perched in a tree. Continuing driving, 
the other driver and I straddled what attracted the eagle, a road-killed 
muskrat, I believe. In the next couple hundred yards there were a recently hit 
rabbit and another substantial meal as well. In addition to the deaths of 
several medium-sized mammals there could have easily been more serious tragedy: 
the loss of a Bald Eagle, considerable damage to a vehicle, and possibly a 
serious car crash. 

A word to the wise: Please don’t speed or tailgate. Stay alert. Be ready to 
brake for wildlife or in case another driver does. I have found that often just 
letting up on the gas pedal is enough to alert a crossing animal and give it 
time to pass in front of me so that I don’t kill it. Swerving is generally not 
a good idea. Often mammals are killed just past a rise in pavement where they 
can’t see or hear oncoming traffic in time. I think it’s a good idea to be 
alert for such places along roads to avoid killing critters, running over dead 
critters, or hitting the animals which eat dead critters. To me it’s worth a 
bit of care to observe wildlife. After all, a skunk is a lot prettier walking 
away than smeared on the wheels and undercarriage. And a Turkey Vulture is 
magnificent in flight and a service to everyone on the ground, but not what you 
want coming through the windshield.

—Dave Nutter

> On Mar 12, 2016, at 6:09 PM, Geo Kloppel <> wrote:
> Patricia and I did a car trip, visiting swamps from West Danby to Spencer, 
> Van Etten, Alpine, Cayuta Lake (the NYS boat launch), Trumbull Corners and 
> Newfield, hoping we might run into some Rusty Blackbirds. Struck out on 
> those, but I thought It worth mentioning that a Bald Eagle is already sitting 
> the nest in North Spencer Marsh.
> -Geo
> Sent from my iPhone
> --
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