If Ducklings and Wind, Then Not Necessarily Eagles

Have you ever wondered why that one time that you saw something fantastic happen, you tend to look for or expect the fantastic every time similar coincident indicators appear?

I remember a particular day I was enjoying a book on my screened-in back patio. A strong north wind was blowing across the retention pond behind my house as I read. Several ducks had taken up residence in this pond in previous years and they had recently hatched a few ducklings. They made a lot of noise most of the time and I had gotten used to tuning out their frequent quacking.

During this one day, however, I was interrupted by the mother ducks quacking more loudly than usual as an Eagle began an attack maneuver over the pond. I did not bother to look until perhaps the second attack took place. I thought it was odd that the eagle kept coming back. Then I noticed his advantage. The eagle had help from the wind. He was able to dive for an attack, then recover wind for itself and regain altitude for the next attack without having to circle around. The mother ducks would flap their wings, quack like mad, and then all the ducks would dive under the water during each attack from the eagle. It was a fantastic show!

Fifteen minutes of repeated attacks finally brought out several of my neighbors from their homes as the mother ducks were being quite noisy. A few women were frantic over the poor baby ducklings. I was cheering for the eagle and was quite vocal about it, but he grew tired from the attacks and finally flew away.

I lived in that house for another five years, and I looked for eagles every time I saw ducklings and the wind was up.