There was a rare sighting in west central Fresno Wednesday morning. Neighbors spotted an American bald eagle perched atop a 40 foot pine tree.
It is our country's national bird, a healthy American bald eagle checking out a west central Fresno ponding basin a couple hundred yards away. Renee Sanchez first spotted the bird on Tuesday, "I thought he looked beautiful and I'd never seen one in person before. It seemed rare to me so I went home and got my cameras and took some pictures."
Rene Sanchez says the bald eagle has been the talk of Krue Kuts Barber Shop and her neighborhood since that day. Javier Menchata couldn't believe his eyes, "I first thought it was snow sitting at the top of the tree and then I looked and I said wait a minute that's an American bald eagle."
Our camera captured these rare pictures for close to an hour. This bird of prey constantly craning its neck as it checked out the ponding basin with its huge piercing eyes.
Neighbors who were up early say the bald eagle must have been hungry. They got a chance to see its massive wing span as it flew over to the ponding basin.
Burleigh Lockwood at Fresno's Chaffee Zoo says bald eagles hang out by ponding basins, lakes and reservoirs this time of year because they feast on coots, those little black mud hens. "They're easier to catch than ducks because they have to run on the water to take off rather than just exploding out of the water like a mallard would. So they're an easy target."
Renee Sanchez says the bird population around the ponding basin isn't happy to see this majestic bird, "The sea gulls were trying to get to him. So I don't know if he's after their babies, their food, or what."
The bald eagle with the snow white head and beautiful brown plumage has been hanging out near McKinley and West the past two mornings. It's long gone before noon.
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