15949815888_e454d30c7c_z

Whoa, thanks to Amanda for capturing (and sending us) this awesome encounter:

“Driving down New Hampshire in petworth and this beautiful eagle dive bombed into my car trying to collect an injured (dead?) squirrel from the road. It was quite a surprise to realize the giant bird that nearly hit my windshield was an eagle, who then perched on a rooftop for a few minutes looking all majestic before swooping down to collect his supper and flying away. It was quite the show!”

15517538253_3bb9fe94c1_z

More shots after the jump. (more…)

bats_powell
Bat visiting Woodley Park in 2012

From the Petworth listserv:

“To all Powell Elementary Parents,

This evening [Tuesday] while playing baseball with my son on the baseball field, my son and I, along with few other folks out on the field and soccer field, noticed hundreds of bats swarming inside the chimney of the school.

It looked like a scene from a halloween/Dracula movie. I stopped a police officer to see if he could alert the custodian since there was a door open to the school. The officer thought the section of the school thats connected to the chimney was blocked off, but wasn’t sure.

As we walked home, I’m was not sure if the officer was able to talk to anyone at the school tonight because I saw him ride towards the back of the school since no one answered the front door. We wanted parents to be aware in order to take the necessary precautions on Wednesday morning.

I’m hoping the school is sectioned off from the bats for the safety of all the students.”

Fortunately another member responds:

“Did you get a close look?

These could be Chimney Swifts – small birds that could be mistaken for bats – kinda look like cigars with wings. These birds roost in chimneys in groups, and may swarm around these roosts in the evening. During fall migrations these groups can be large.

They pose no threat. Practically speaking, neither would bats, for that matter. Little Brown Bats would be the common bat around here. They eat insects (mosquitoes) and have been hit hard with a fungus in recent years, making them much less common. We definitely want them around.”

Ed. Note: Back in June we learned a Big Brown bat in Ward 1, was determined rabid by the DC Department of Health. Fortunately Powell is in Ward 4.

15136644620_0c3ef7578e_z

A reader writes:

“It was hanging out on the steps to our English basement near Lincoln Park. Apparently it’s copperhead birthing season.

Update: My roommate works at the Museum of Natural History, so she’s talking to some herpetologists there. Right now, we’re just leaving through the garage….

Update: Official verdict is that it’s not a copperhead! Juvenile ratsnake (pantherophis alleghaniensis)”

Ed. Note: Heads up. Literally. Last May/June we talked about rat snakes falling out of trees in Cleveland Park and Adams Morgan.