Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eagle Takes Seagull

This week, whilst walking with my son and my dogs at Ambleside (below the north side of Vancouver's famous Lions Gate Bridge), I watched a flock of seagulls tormenting a pair of eagles.

The tables turned.

This is pretty typical behaviour when springtime nests are threatened, but in this case, the whole thing took place over the waters of Burrard Inlet. We watched as members of the seagull flock swooped around and over the pair of eagles (bald eagles, fully mature, white heads and tails). The eagles usually are pretty good at ignoring this behaviour, but at some point the focus shifted. the two eagles began to dive bomb one of the seagulls from the flock. As we watched this interchange, one of the eagles swung from below up to the seagull, claws extended and plucked it right out of the air. The other eagle flew off.

The hunting eagle dropped straight to the water, wings spread, with its heavy prey. The eagle never stopped flying for a moment, but rearranged its trajectory along the surface of the water. It flew along slowly for maybe 2-3 full minutes, wingtips touching the water with each stroke, and drowned the bird in its claws.

The eagle continued along the surface of the water, and made land on the lighthouse sandbar off the beach at Ambleside, where he ignored all the little birds flying in to take a look, and ate his seagull snack.

I spent the whole time wavering between marvelling at the hunter and kicking self for not having camera.

These shots are taken of birds on Howe Sound.

I love where I live.



JulianEdward said...

superb! - but your words are vivid as any snap

A Novel Woman said...


Talk about a Snack Attack!

I'll have one Jonathan Livingston Seagull, on the rocks.

kc dyer said...


Yes, Jonathan made a nice, light snack for the eagle -- and a bloodthirsty Earth Day post for me.