The Bald Eagle That Wasn’t Bald

June 29, 2012

by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager

Earlier this week, I was canoeing on the Delaware River Sojourn.  We saw lots of Bald Eagles each day, and even had a program on Eagles as one of the educational programs.

I saw an unbelievable sight involving an Eagle.  A few of us were paddling out front when an immature Bald Eagle appeared overhead.  It was being chased by Tree Swallows.  The most aggressive of the swallows landed on the Eagle’s head!  At first I couldn’t believe my eyes, but then I saw it disengage from the Eagle’s head, and land again… and again.  It was only 60 feet above us when it happened, so I got a very good look.  Each time, the swallow stayed attached for at least 10 seconds.  Even if I had doubted my eyes, there were five other paddlers who confirmed that I wasn’t dreaming.  We all turned to each other afterwards and said in unison, “I’m glad you saw that too.  No one would believe me.”