Bobbing for Goldeneye
Karen and I went down to Calumet Park on Chicago’s south lakeshore in search of a Ross’s Goose (more on that later). We had never been to the park before so we were driving around checking it out and saw a Common Goldeneye in a small bit of open water (about the size of a kiddie pool at your local park). Lake Michigan itself was frozen over for about 1/4 of a mile offshore but this little bit of a pool of water was just big enough for the Goldeneye to hunt in. Everything being white and the sun behind the pool created a poor photo tableaux.
As we watched, an immature Bald Eagle swooped in and settled next to the pool with a hungry look. The Goldeneye immediately dove underwater, but had nowhere to go! Frozen ice surrounded the pool so it had to come back up to the surface eventually and face the eagle. I couldn’t believe how long it stayed under – it seemed like 2 minutes before it surfaced but as far away from the eagle as it could. The eagle then proceeded to hop up and down around the pool in hopes of pouncing on the Goldeneye.
Every time the eagle started its descent, the Goldeneye would dive under the water and resurface somewhere else. This went on for several minutes until the eagle just sat on the ice in futility, watching the Goldeneye swim back and forth right in front of it. Finally the eagle took off in a fit of frustration, looking for easier prey. Let’s hear it for the one that got away!
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