Posted by: atowhee | October 30, 2013

DUCKS 40, EAGLE 1

There were 40 ducks and coots paddling around the south end of Emigrant Lake. There was a lone Bald Eagle. But the scene was more complex than a simple scorecard. Those Coots and ducks may have thought they were champs but the eagle had snared one of their number so, in fact, the Bald Eagle flew off with lunch in his talons. Earlier this week some birders and I had seen a Ring-billed Gull carrying around a Coot wing in its beak. Leftover from an earlier eagle meal.
This series shows the adult eagle diving at Coot and duck flock, with the birds tightly grouped. After more than a dozen sorties the eagle grabbed one bird and then rested on the lake shore before flying off with lunch.BEAGL STRAF1

EAGL STRAF2

EAGL STRAF3

EAGLE STRAF4 The hunting Bald Eagle made a series of these strafing runs on the coterie of coots. As you can see the Coots defense was to dive beneath the surface, not try to fly or swim away on the surface. In the sequence above all the Coots disappeared into the murky water before the eagle could strike. He didn’t give up, however.EAGL CIRCLES (1083x1280)

EAGL CIRCLES2

EAGL CIRCLES3
EAGLE DIVE1

EAGLE DIVE2EAGL DIVE3EAGLE-COOT DIVE4EAGL TALONS DOWN

EAGLE ON WATER

EAGLE SPLASH

Here’s yet another unsuccessful run at the flock:

EAGLrun2

EAGK0RUN2A

WIDE TURN

WIDE TURN2

WIDE TURN5
COOT PANIC1

COOT PANIC2

WIDETURN6

AT REST
After the exertion of the hunt, this eagle settled down to rest, duck in its talons.
FLY OFF
FLY OFF WITH DUCK In this shot you can see the eagle carrying a duck beneath his belly like a torpedo, probably a Green-winged Teal.
EARD GRB (1280x1280) This lone Eared Grebe was never far from the life-and-death drama on the lake, but it continued to paddle about and dive for fish. Nonchalant, unperturbed, indifferent. Is the little grebe just too fast for an eagle to catch?
Emigrant Lake, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 30, 2013 10:45 AM. 30 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 120
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 3
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 5
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 6
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 1
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) 3
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 1
American Coot (Fulica americana) 80
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 4
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 1
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 1
Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) 3
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 5
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 9
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 3
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 2
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 8
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 14
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) 1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 1


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