|Adult Bald Eagle|
Several groups flew almost straight over head providing me with some nice photo ops as Pat scanned the skies picking out other hawks and eagles.
|Immature Turkey Vulture (note dark head)|
|Immature Bald Eagle showing lots of white on its belly|
Pat marveled at the symmetry of the wing pattern of the Bald Eagle pictured below. Later when I zoomed in on the display screen on my camera, I noticed that pattern resembled eyes with the symmetry broken by the eye on the birds right wing (our left) being open and the left wing eye closed in a winking manner. Eyespot mimicry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyespot_(mimicry) is an evolutionary defense mechanism where animals with spots that look like big eyes are less likely to be preyed upon. Animals that benefit from this, range from Tiger Swallowtail larva to Buckeye Butterfly adults to Four-eye Butterfly Fish to the Servals of Africa. The pattern on this Eagle's wing has nothing to do with that because it already looks menacing enough and it resides at the top of its food chain. More likely it has to do with the human brain trying to make sense of patterns. That's how perceived images of Elvis, Jesus and the Virgin Mary are interpreted as messages from beyond in everything from toast, pizza pans, stains on overpasses, tree bark and lastly and definitely leastly (I'm not making this up) no disrespect intended...... dog butts.
|Another immature Bald Eagle with winking owl pattern|
|Uncropped photo of previous bird shows its great altitude more accurately|
|Cropped version showing white wing patches of immature Golden Eagle|
|Same bird only closer|