Thursday, July 23, 2015

Eagles in Ell Cove

A flight of feisty bald eagles couldn’t resist a discarded halibut carcass, draped across a flat rock above the high tide line. 

Their aerial antics provided the evening’s entertainment and an opportunity for a lengthy photo shoot. Half a dozen birds swooped down onto the rocks in nearly-vertical power dives, bumping and knocking each other about as they vied for ownership of the carcass, or at least a piece of the halibut flesh. These eagles looked more like shoreside brawlers than noble representatives of our national symbol. One crafty bird dragged the fish frame farther up the sloped shore, disappearing under the shelter of overhanging cedar branches. His effort made it more difficult for other eagles to poach a piece, but it didn’t stop their energetic attempts. 

Foolishly the eagle-in-possession gripped what remained of the halibut and lifted off to fly across the cove. That was not a good decision. After liftoff he barely cleared the water, struggling to drag a length of fish along like an anchor on a chain. Oops! He dropped the carcass… it sank… end of story. 

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