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Tag Archives: Vancouver Island

the birds…

juvenile bald eagleA few non-birder’s observations from Ucluelet, BC…

Out on the ocean, common murres float singly, in small groupings or in flocks of twenty or more. Sometimes they seem to stand on the surface, flapping vigorously. In flight, again one or three or thirty at a time, they wing in unison a foot above the water.

Gulls take advantage of an open bin of noisome fish guts at the fish-cleaning station, pulling out the heads, the bony carcasses, the soft slimy bits, and pecking at them on the slippery deck. They wheel and screech, shit prodigiously, hop within kicking distance and beg for more.

At the adjacent dock, seven or eight crows discover a plastic bag with something fragrant and foul in it on board a private fishing boat, which is otherwise scrubbed and immaculate. They crowd in to take turns at extracting its contents, sitting in the captain’s chair, on the rail and down-riggers and cabin roof, cawing, flapping, giving orders: the boat’s dark crew.

An immature bald eagle, raggedy and dappled, undignified in everything except size and profile, sits on a high bare branch as ravens, one after another, rant and scold, threaten and rage, harass and, finally frustrated by the eagle’s refusal to move, fly away.
juvenile bald eagle copyright © 2007, Alan D. Wilson, Nature’s Pics Online