Friday, June 13, 2008

The King of the Castle and the Dirty Rascal

In the trees above Kwomais Point, the eagles congregate. Last Saturday, a couple of dozen were circling the cliffs.

A baker's dozen of eagles.

The bald eagle. The king of the birds. Up to 96 inches (2.4 metres), wing-tip to wing-tip, armed with powerful talons and a sharp, hooked bill, capable of snatching a live salmon from the waves and carrying it aloft.

And yet -- this always makes me laugh -- watch it flee from a tiny crow:

A crow, or sometimes a couple of crows, will harass an eagle gleefully, with no apparent purpose. They do not compete for food, nor do eagles fit into the tangled branches where the crows raise their families. But let the eagle dare to fly over the territory chosen by a crow, and the crow attacks, dashing behind, under, above, even ahead. The eagle never fights back. After a few futile attempts to dodge the pest, he flies away, with the crow close on his tail.

No wonder crows seem to swagger when they walk!

Saturday, one eagle found a rock offshore, unclaimed by crows. He rested there for a while, so we walked slowly in his direction.

When we got too close, he left.

"People; they're as bad as crows!"

Zooming in:

I wouldn't dare get much closer, anyhow. I'm not as brave as a crow, I guess.

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