Tag Archives: eagle

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
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Eagle Bait

As Don came back from fishing he saw a salmon carcass on the riverbank.

alsea river fishing
Fishing on the Alsea in Curly’s boat

So he moved it over to the island in hopes of attracting in some birds.

dead salmon - eagle bait
Eagle Bait

We were surprised that nothing even seemed to look at it for a whole day.  Even the few seagulls in the area seemed to ignore it.  But this morning someone is eyeing the prize…

bald eagle
3 year old Bald Eagle

This young bald eagle hasn’t tasted it yet.  But he’ll be back.

Swoosh!

The birds were wild tonight!

I no sooner sat down at the counter for dinner when I saw an osprey dive into the river right in front of our window.  Don missed it because he was “washing his hands” in the other room.

So after we had dinner, I went outside to wait for the osprey to come back.  A bald eagle has been flying by every evening.  He doesn’t give us any warning though.  I mean, I’d like to have the camera positioned perfectly when he comes by.  It’s a reasonable request.

Okay, so, you know how long my attention span is…I guess I’ll try to get some planting done while waiting for something spectacular to happen in front of me.  Don says he’ll come out around 7:15 because that’s when the eagle flies by; so I’ve got about 20 minutes.

I set my camera down on the deck and get the shovel.  I’m looking at the ground and hear a big splash in the river.  I turn to see the osprey lift a fish out of the water right in front of me!  I yelled to Don in the house, “did you see the osprey?!”  Of course not, he was washing his hands again!

Heron on Alsea River
Heron on Alsea River

Well, now Don is staying out on the deck while I’m planting bulbs.  He’s manning the camera.  We saw this heron in the same spot last night.

So I got 50 bulbs planted on the hill down to the river and am back on the deck.  Don’s got buck fever with the camera.  I see some big wings flapping upriver and said, ‘hey!’ then noticed it was just the heron repositioning himself downriver.  But I made Don jump (and that always makes me laugh).

He took some pix of the merganser and yelled at the swallows for not flying low enough.

Then I saw a bird flying down the river and Don got ready with the camera – but it was a mallard.  Less than a minute later I saw the eagle coming!

He caught it in flight but we got better photos after he landed downriver.

Bald Eagle on Alsea River
Bald Eagle on Alsea River

We actually thought he’d just kept going until I noticed him in front of the next property.  We took photos of him until he left about 10 minutes later.  Bald eagles are such beautiful birds.

Moon Rise
Moon Rise

 Speaking of eagles landing…we’ve had clear skies lately so I’m sure there was a beautiful sunset from the beach.

But, here on the river near Blackberry Campground, we are enjoying the moonrise.

Bald or Golden Eagle

My guess is that this is a 2nd or 3rd year Bald Eagle.  This was as clear of a photo I could get from the Alsea Bay Bridge this evening.

Eagle on Alsea Bay
Golden or Bald Eagle

The Harbor Seal pupping season brings in the scavengers.

Eagle near Seals, Alsea Bay
Eagles Have Patience

Seals give birth to their pups close to the water, if not IN the water.  I think because it’s easier for Mom to protect the pups from hungry seagulls who are the first to arrive.

Seagulls Hover
Seagulls Hover Around Birthing Seals

As the pup is being born the seagulls are trying to pick off the nutrient-rich placenta; or maybe the lanugo (protective coat which is shed in utero).

Protective Mom
Protective Mom

When another seal hauls out nearby, Mom puts herself between her pup and the other seal.  Looks like she’s laying down the rules.  Once she’s convinced there’s no threat, she moves back to the best position for the pup.  I think the pup is facing her in the photo below.

Harbor Seal Mom and New Pup
Harbor Seal Mom and New Pup

I didn’t see the new pup move.  They are able to swim and open their eyes as soon as they are born so I don’t know if this one is doing too well.  I didn’t even see it nurse.  But then they only nurse for a minute every 3 hours.  They must really suck it down though, they double their body weight in 6 weeks.

Alsea Bay Haulout from the Bridge
Alsea Bay Harbor Seal Haulouts from the Bridge

The seals were split into 2 groups today.  The pup and eagle are in the far group.  I didn’t see any pups in the closer group.  There is another, smaller, group west of the bridge.

People can walk to that haulout so I expect the seals won’t stay there long if people keep bothering them.  Some don’t think they’re bothering the seals by moving slowly and quietly while they try to get as close as they can without a seal moving off.  But all the seals keep an eye on the people, so you know there is some tension.  Tension is not something a mother in labor needs more of.  So please watch from the bridge with your binoculars.

April Showers on the Oregon Coast

It’s amazing how quickly the weather can change!  When we left Yachats there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  No need for raincoats today!

This view is looking south as you come down Hwy 101 from Sea Lion Caves.

Baker Beach
Baker Beach

There were 2 eagles soaring above the cliffs.  3 crows were nagging them to leave.

Eagle with Crows Chasing
Eagle with Crows Chasing

We worked all day in Sutton Campground.  Sutton really took a hit from the snow/wind storm in March.  When will it ever end?!

Showers almost drove us in a couple times but we pushed through it!  Workamper Gladiators!  woo hoo!

Hail is Next
Hail is Next

 Back home to Tillicum Beach.  Check the iron ranger, campers and restrooms.  Reheat leftovers for dinner.  Snapped some sunset pix, quick walk on the beach, cut short seeing the rain come from the southwest.

I was almost to the stairs when I felt the first drops.  By the time I got to the end of the sidewalk near site 12, it was coming down hard, then turned to hail before I to got to the restroom.

I was wearing a raincoat but jeans and shoes are soaked. 🙂