Monday, April 1, 2013

Bald on the beach

On the way back home from a grocery run one afternoon, we saw a large convocation of eagles on the beachward side of the roadway.  We pulled over, and witnessed about 30 bald eagles in the midst of a frantic feast (though wild animals do tend to always dine in degrees of franticness).
Taking off with the bounty

With nearly a dozen eagles permanently guarding what remained of the food, another dozen or so sitting on nearby perches, and another couple dozen or so in the air flying in, grabbing bits of food, and flying off, and another few dozen or so in trees savouring their meal, there were perhaps 60 eagles in the vicinity.


It was only after about 10 minutes of observation that it became clear to me what they were eating - discarded salmon heads and backbones.  A fisherman had dumped them on the beach, to the enthusiastic glee of the many eagles.

Giving chase - entering the mad foray surrounding the pile of salmon carcasses might require boldness only the tenacious youngsters or the more senior adults possess, but intimidating another eagle to drop its food is something anyone can do. One needs to consider the ocean-bound scavengers, however, such as the seal in the foreground.