If you spend time in the open country of the western U.S. you will get to see Golden Eagles from time to time.
They are there, it's just a matter of crossing paths. And so, I have seen a pair grapple in mid-air before.
It's breath-taking to watch, their tumbling toward the ground, then pulling out of the free fall and flying off.
But I have only once heard a Golden Eagle vocalize, and that was on 5/28/12. Here is the whole cut, with
the worst gear noise excised. The noise that remains bespeaks my rush to get on the eagles when I realized what was happening.
I was five miles south of Sisters, Oregon, on a seldom-traveled road, focusing on an
obliging Fox Sparrow who was singing from the top of a manzanita bush, when I heard a raven in
the distance, calling as it flew steadily in one direction. After a bit, this took me as unusual,
so I refocused on that sound. The raven quite possibly was calling because of the presence of the eagles.
Ravens do harass eagles, just as crows harass hawks. At any rate, because of the raven's calling
I serendipitously captured a few isolated eagle sounds, and then the long string that
highlights this cut. The first eagle sound is at 0:04, then again at 0:13.
The high chips, followed by a song, are from the Fox Sparrow. A few dew-hic calls of a
Dusky Flycatcher appear at 1:00. You will know the main burst of eagle
sound as soon as you see it emerge from the right margin at 1:03. My mumbled words are
"talon dance." A good way to put it. It was unforgettable.