Category Archives: wildlife

Eagle Alert!

“Eagle!” my content advisor (as he likes to go by) calls out.  I look out the window in time to see the adult eagle swoop down to the river.  Fumbling with my camera, I watch it land briefly on the rocks, pick something out of the river and continue flying upriver.

Adult Eagle on Alsea River
Adult Eagle on Alsea River

Keeping my eye on him I get my lens cap off, turn on the camera and get out the door onto our deck overlooking the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast.  He landed!  The “eagle has landed”; to borrow a phrase from my childhood.

I hear another eagle chirp every minute or so; like a juvenile keeping in close contact with a parent who has food.  And, sure enough…here comes the kid with a hollow leg.

Juvenile Eagle Joins Parent
Juvenile Eagle Joins Parent

Then another adult flew in to greet the two!

2nd Adult Eagle Flies In
2nd Adult Eagle Flies In

It happened too quick to get a photo of all 3 eagles together.  The camera doesn’t always win when I have to make a split-second choice between watching wildlife and photographing it.  The two adults flew off together and the young one stayed on the rock.  I couldn’t tell if the parent finished eating or left something for Junior.

Juvenile Bald Eagle
Juvenile Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles get their adult plumage in about 5 years. This one looks like it is beginning to get its white head feathers.

4-5 year-old Bald Eagle
4-5 year-old Bald Eagle

Merganser Ducklings

I love it when Mama Merganser parades her little ones past our house on the Alsea River!  One or two always seem to hitch a ride on her back.

Mama merganser with 7 chicks hitching ride
Mama merganser with 7 chicks hitching ride

At least until she dives.  If they’re going to get stronger, they’ve got to do it on their own!

Chicken-chasing bear

We had a report of a bear that chased some feral chickens in a nearby yard.  He was not deterred by the home-owners attempts to scare him away.  A bear that is not afraid of humans can be dangerous.  Fortunately, no human or property was hurt and the feral chicken issue is diminishing.

I enjoy wildlife from a distance – from the safety of my home.  We do not leave out garbage cans but they do like the natural food source along the Alsea River on the Oregon Coast.

Oregon Coast Elk

The elk keep their newborns hidden for a month or so but we finally saw this herd’s 2 calves today.  To see the video, click or tap on the photo or this link:  https://youtu.be/AvWTXqUX4dA

elk calf
Fences are not as easy for calves to cross as their parents

This herd has a wide variety of ages.

elk herd
Only 2 new calves so far this summer (far left)

Here is a yearling bull just starting to grow his antlers.  They are just nubs this summer.  Next summer he’ll have a set of spikes.

yearling bull with antler nubs
Yearling bull (left) with antler nubs showing

This one looks pretty sickly.  You can see her ribs and she doesn’t have much hair.

Sickly-looking cow elk
Sickly-looking cow elk

The rancher’s cows want to chat with the elk but she’s having none of it.

elk and cows have conversation
They are so stupid…they think I sat in white paint and dipped my head in black paint

This bull has some interesting antlers.

bull elk with crooked antler
Crooked antler

This is a nice looking bull.  Looks like 9 points to me; unless I don’t know which ones count.

9 point bull elk
9 points?

Little one asks mom for dinner.

Elk calf with mama
Elk calf with mama

Mink vs Mallards on the Alsea River

This Mallard mama did not turn her back on the mink that was running alongside her family on the Alsea River this morning.

Mallard mom with 5 ducklings
Mallard mom with 5 ducklings

The mink ran ahead; darting in and out of the riverside debris.

Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling

Mama-duck quacked and followed the mink to keep it moving and to let it know she was vigilantly protecting her ducklings.

mallard mom lays down the law
I said, Listen to me!

She see’s her children are paying attention when she didn’t think they were.

mallard duckling imitates mom
If Mom can do this, I can do this.

I wonder what else mink eat?  This one might not get duck for lunch.

Mink on the Alsea River
Mink on the Alsea River

Spring on the Alsea River

A male Rufous hummingbird finally found our feeder today.  He guards it ruthlessly.

male rufous hummingbird
He’s the boss

Rufous hummers are very territorial.  He is chasing off 5 or 6 other hummers.

Everybody likes the salmonberries – especially the Robins

robin in the salmonberries
Robin in the Salmonberries

The crawdad is almost the bottom of the food chain around here.  They are the scavengers who feed on dead fish flesh.  The diving ducks eat the crawdads – unless we eat them first.

crawdad
Crawdad!

The mallards are enjoying all the fresh green moss growing on the river bottom and banks of the Alsea.

mallard hen and drake
Mallard Couple

The new growth of spring is such a vibrant green!

Alsea River at Tidewater, Oregon
Alsea River at Tidewater