Saturday, November 10, 2012


Eagles squeak like a rusty door hinge. Sometimes they scream, rather like a gull with a sore throat. When a female is interested in sex, she makes musical, bubbling sounds.

I've never heard them bark like dogs before this afternoon.

We were walking down the shore at Boundary Bay. A pair of eagles came to sit on a solar panel on a pole in the water; they perch there often. We took a few photos, out of habit, not expecting to get anything interesting at that distance, then walked on.

Second eagle arriving. My camera, at its maximum zoom.

Behind us, something was barking, sounding like a smallish dog. "Woof ... woof ... woof ...," single barks at regular intervals, maybe a second apart. There were no dogs on the beach, just the gulls and those two eagles out in the bay. "Woof ... woof ..." Not a bird-like sound at all, mostly like a small to medium dog, not the yappy type, but not deep either. "Woof ... woof ... woof ..." The tones were well within a human range; I tried to imitate them, getting fairly close, at least to my ears, probably not to the eagles'.

Duet. Maybe the "woof" was the effect of a combination of two voices. Laurie's camera, zoomed and cropped.

We took a few more photos. After a few minutes, the eagles stopped their noise, sat quietly for a bit, then flew away. Now I'm wondering if maybe they were offended at my apparent parody of their song.

Taking a bow.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology has five tracks of eagle voices. I've listened to them all; nothing matches the sound we heard.


  1. That is TOO COOL. =) I'm psyched to know this, and how cool will YOU look at your next social, being able to entertain the gang with your eagle imitation?? Schweet!

  2. Certainly looks like courtship / pair bond behavior

    Nesting usually starts in February , here.

    MIght have to dig further for courtship vocalizations

    I am always amused when they dub Red-tail Hawk for Bald Eagle on TV / movies. Bald Eagles just dont have macho voices.

  3. Fantastic. I am off to a UK nature conference next week - writers, artists, creatives - even sound recordists too. You'd love it!


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