This past Friday I had the opportunity to have lunch with a friend of mine. The plan was to meet him near his office in the city where we would then go to a nearby food court to eat. Since it was that time of day on a Friday, I anticipated either driving around forever to fight for a close parking spot, or walking anywhere from a half mile to mile to where we were to meet. I chose the latter. I needed the exercise and it was a beautiful, chilly day. As I got relatively close to where we were going to meet, I casually noticed a pigeon walking on the edge of the street near the curb. As I continued to walk, I saw something out the of the corner of my eye streak by. I looked over to see a huge bird standing on top of the pigeon. Its talons were digging in to the pigeon while the poor prey struggled. The predator stood casually waiting for the inevitable end of the meal preparation (death of the pigeon). At this point, I was completely amazed by the scene in front of me (as were 5 or 6 other people). At first, I assumed that this was a hawk. But after just a couple of seconds I realized that it couldn’t be a hawk. It was waaaaaaaaay too big and majestic. That’s right. It was an eagle. I was completely blown away, not that I was witnessing an eagle catch its prey (even though that was awesome!), but by the fact that there was an eagle hunting pigeons in the middle of Cambridge, MA.
After a minute or so of standing around watching the bystanders observe his hunt and meal prep, the eagle flew away with the pigeon still clutched in his talons. As I walked down a little closer to where I was meeting my friend, I saw him again. This time he was drawing a crowd. It was at this point that I began to kick myself as I thought about the decision I made a few minutes earlier not to bring my camera with me. I stood, watching again for another few minutes until it was time to meet for lunch. When I met my friend, we greeted each other and then I asked, you were an Eagle Scout…would you recognize an eagle if you saw one? Puzzled, he answered with a slow, “yeah?” “Then follow me,” I said. We went back over to where the eagle was. My friend’s reaction was, “Yep. That’s an eagle. Huh.” By this time, the eagle was enjoying his lunch as he was digging in.
We stood there for another couple of minutes watching him feast away on the poor pigeon. A lot of people were now starting to gather around him. Some were taking pictures with camera phones. Others were talking on their phone as they described the sight. One guy, feeling a bit adventurous, got a little too close while trying to get the perfect shot. The eagle looked up at him and spread out his wings as if to say, “back off! He’s mine!” the guy quickly backed away.
This has to be one of the most bizarre experiences since living in the Boston area. It will be something I remember every time I am in that section of town from now on. I know that I’ll be looking up and around for Mr. E. the next time I’m over there. And, it’s a great story to tell people. One other cool tidbit is that my two favorite college football teams’ mascots are golden eagles…exactly like this one. Pretty cool.