The Eagles Have Landed – Bird Watching at Eagle Ridge

The Eagles Have Landed – Bird Watching at Eagle Ridge

The Unexpected Visitor

I’ll never forget that fateful morning when I set out to do my regular goose and raptor surveys at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club. It was a typical foggy day, with visibility barely reaching beyond a quarter-mile. As I made my way through the winding cart paths, I couldn’t help but admire the serene beauty of the course, even in the hazy conditions.

As I approached the Big Lake area, I suddenly heard the unmistakable call of a Red-shouldered Hawk. I strained my eyes, trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive bird, when suddenly, a massive raptor came soaring into view. At first, I thought it might be a young Bald Eagle, but as it drew closer, I realized I was in the presence of something much more extraordinary – a Golden Eagle!

A Rare Encounter

The Golden Eagle [1] swooped down, swerving into the tall grasses of the wetlands. Immediately, a pair of adult Bald Eagles took to the air, vocalizing their displeasure at the intruder. The three magnificent birds circled overhead, engaged in a captivating aerial display. I held my breath, hardly daring to move, lest I disturb this once-in-a-lifetime encounter.

Suddenly, the Golden Eagle veered straight towards me, flying just 10 feet off the ground. I was awestruck, unable to do anything but watch in silent wonder as this fierce and determined predator passed mere inches from my car. After a few more minutes of circling and vocalizing, the Golden Eagle retreated to its distant perch, leaving me with a memory that will be forever seared into my mind.

Reaping the Rewards of Patience

As I continued my survey, I couldn’t help but smile at the incredible experience I had just witnessed. It was a reminder that even the most routine activities can yield unexpected and truly remarkable moments, if one is willing to slow down and truly observe the world around them.

Later, I would learn that sightings of Golden Eagles at Eagle Ridge are quite rare, with records indicating that they are typically spotted between November and March [2]. The fact that I was able to witness such a magnificent bird, and even capture it in flight mere feet from my car, was a testament to the value of patience and keen observation.

The Avian Residents of Eagle Ridge

Of course, the Golden Eagle was not the only feathered resident of Eagle Ridge Golf Club. Throughout the year, the course plays host to a diverse array of avian life, from the majestic Bald Eagles that soar overhead to the delicate songbirds that flit among the trees. [3]

During the winter months, the club’s wetlands and waterways attract a veritable aviary of waterfowl, including Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, and a variety of ducks. [4] The course’s open spaces and proximity to prime hunting grounds make it an ideal destination for raptors like Red-tailed Hawks and Red-shouldered Hawks, which can often be spotted perched atop the towering pines that line the fairways. [5]

A Birder’s Paradise

For the avid birdwatcher, Eagle Ridge Golf Club is a true paradise. Whether you’re strolling the cart paths, exploring the nature trails, or simply sitting and observing from the clubhouse terrace, there’s always something new to discover. From the vibrant colors of the Bluebirds and Goldfinches to the graceful movements of the Great Blue Herons, the course is a veritable avian oasis in the heart of the region. [6]

And, of course, the occasional appearance of a majestic Golden Eagle is always a tantalizing possibility, reminding us that even the most familiar of landscapes can harbor unexpected and truly awe-inspiring wonders. [7] So, the next time you tee off at Eagle Ridge, be sure to keep your eyes peeled – you never know what feathered delights might be in store.


As I reflect on my encounter with the Golden Eagle, I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of appreciation for the natural world that surrounds us, even in the most seemingly ordinary of places. Eagle Ridge Golf Club is not just a premier golfing destination – it is a living, breathing ecosystem teeming with life, a true haven for the avian enthusiast.

So, the next time you visit Eagle Ridge, I encourage you to slow down, take a deep breath, and open your eyes to the wonder of the winged wonders that call this place home. You never know when you might just have the privilege of witnessing something as truly extraordinary as a Golden Eagle soaring across the fairways. [8]

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