In my 11 years of living in Payson, I’ve never seen anything like it. And those who saw it, too, said they had never witnessed anything like it either.
Last week, all who were at Green Valley Park were treated to an awe-inspiring aerial display by two high-flying juvenile bald eagles. For a few moments, time seemed to stand still and all movement at the park stopped. Fishermen, children playing, dog-walkers and even joggers stopped what they were doing.
On this clear, azure blue-sky day, all heads were tilted back and all eyes were transfixed on the majestic birds above. For what seemed to go on forever (but was probably all of five minutes), the young eagles, with their something-to-behold wingspans, circled, glided, swooped and soared above the lake, often playfully passing within feet of each other.
Such a delight it was to us mere humans below — and an extraordinary delight to those of us who had brought along our cameras.
Though sometimes misidentified as golden eagles (probably because they haven’t developed their adult plumage, which happens at four or five years of age when they reach sexual maturity), these young eagles are distinctly the offspring and symbol of America’s national bird.
Until reaching maturity, the juvenile bald eagles are somewhat similar in color to the golden eagle. But whereas the golden has solid, bright brown feathers, the young bald eagle’s features are a mottled brown and white color, from head to tail.
The juvenile eagles also may be mistaken for the golden eagle due to the large size of some of the juveniles. But the large size is really due to sex, not species.
Female bald eagles are 30 percent larger than their male counterparts — an odd occurrence in nature.
Juvenile bald eagles reach full size at 10 to 11 weeks old, at the time they leave the nest. (Which probably explains why eagle nests are so large — to accommodate the one to three eaglettes, a parent or two and all their six-foot-plus wingspans.
This week’s question
Can you identify the pop-rock band that scored a top-5 hit with the 1976 release of “Fly Like an Eagle”?
The founder and lead vocalist of this popular band was born in Milwaukee and raised in Dallas. His career has encompassed two distinct stages: one as one of the top San Francisco blues-rockers during the late 1960s and early 1970s and one as the top-selling pop-rock acts of the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s.
In all, this band has produced 22 albums and is still touring today. It has landed 20 songs on the Billboard Hot-100, five of which have made it into the top-5, including the chart-topping hit songs “The Joker” (1974), “Rockin’ Me” (1976) and “Abracadabra” (1982).
The group’s “Fly Like an Eagle” hit was selected as a single into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1985.
Is this “Fly Like an Eagle” group A) America; B) The Steve Miller Band; C) The Eagles; or D) The Stylistics?
If you’re caller number six with the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your choice of genre or artist. Good luck!
Last week’s question
In 1988, jazz-styled improvisation vocalist Bobby McFerrin debuted on the music charts with a song that was featured in the movie “Cocktail,” starring Tom Cruise, which would soar to No. 1 and later become the Grammy Song of the Year. The record became a one-hit wonder for McFerrin, as he never charted another hit.
Last week’s question asked if you could name the title of McFerrin’s one-hit wonder. The choices were A) “Please Don’t Worry,” B) “Why Worry,” C) “Don’t Worry Baby,” or D) “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
The correct answer was “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
“Please Don’t Worry” was a 1970 song by the hard-rock band, Grand Funk Railroad; “Why Worry” was produced in 1985 by the English rock group, Dire Straits; and “Don’t Worry Baby” was a hit by both the Beach Boys (1964) and B.J. Thomas (1977).
Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Janice Williams, who has won a couple of times in the past.
A final note
Over the past few months I’ve taken quite a few pictures of the various birds that make their homes at Green Valley Park. Some of these stunning creatures live there full-time; others visit in the winter, then are off to cooler climates in the spring.
You can see pictures of these beautiful birds on my Facebook account, which is open to everyone, at “DJCraig Weddingsand Parties.” (Send me a friend request, if you like.)
Also, you can also see pictures of these birds on two separate music slideshows, each about three minutes long, that I’ve put together and posted onto YouTube.
One slideshow is of the adult and juvenile bald eagle (type “Fly Away Payson” into the YouTube search box) and the other is a collection of the many different species of birds that frequent our beautiful park and lake (type “The Birds of Green Valley Park” into the search box).
Enjoy the show!
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482, Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com