The other day, I caught sight of an eagle on the river bed, accidentally. I saw a raven take off from the rocks out of the corner of my eye. Ravens are a good indication of feeding activity at this time of year. So I turned my camera in the direction of its take off and there was the eagle! Dining on, I guess, a delectable Kokanee! It certainly looked fresh. This year the Kokanee have been larger than normal and very vivid in colour. Seeing them en masse in the river is a celebration of reds and oranges. But I digress, not uncommon for me.
The eagle was clasping the fish in its claws and using its powerful beak to rip flesh off the fish.
It attacked each piece with great gusto and really seemed to enjoy the meal..
I wonder if a bone got caught in its throat here. It looks like it coughed.
After finishing off the head (not shown here), it devoured the tail..
And as I watched it, I couldn’t help but wonder about the various eating patterns of the different birds I watch. Because of its claws and beak, the eagle can catch a fish quickly and retreat to a perch to devour it piece by piece, tasting each morsel, and perhaps savouring each mouthful.
On the other hand, the merganser seems to ‘enjoy’ the chase and capture of the fish, bobbing its head under the water, running along the surface before grabbing it. And then has to swallow it whole and quickly to prevent another merganser taking it away.
How the merganser ever tastes a meal I don’t know. To me, the eagle’s approach seems more conducive to an enjoyable meal, and less indigestion.
Enough for today. I have a wonderful grizzly family to show next and then some more contemplative photographs I have been taking over the last few months.
Categories: birds, eagles, immature birds, immature eagles, mergansers, Photography, River, Salmon spawn
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