Tag Archives: eagles

Eagle grooming – Photo Wednesday

The other morning, an eagle was perched above my neighbour’s house. Top of a very tall fir tree. Checking out the neighbourhood.

Bald eagle, Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Looking to the right, looking to the left. Anything edible going by? No luck.

Bald eagle, Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Okay, then might as well get on with the grooming. Feathers need to be smoothed, lined up. Can’t allow ourselves to look ragged, now, can we?Bald eagle, grooming itself, Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Also, one must be thorough. Grooming all the way under the “petticoat”…

Just an average morning in my neck of the woods.

Eagle Chat

This is a short clip of a noisy, talkative eagle. This bird was voicing some objections to another eagle’s presence, a few hundred meters away. Obviously, some important rules of etiquette were not being observed.



 The background noise you can hear throughout the video is the sound of a CSL “self-unloader”, a large cargo ship which is unloading gypsum onto barges, right here, in these beautiful islands…

CSL Gypsum Unloading onto barges, in Plumper Sound, Southern Gulf Islands, BC

Apparently, the eagles were too busy with their territorial discussions to care. But that engine sound, lights, and dust can get annoying when they last for days…

January: Bald Eagles

Nature reveals itself in patterns, when you live on the windy West Coast… Since late December, I have noticed the return of the big birds. They are busy doing aerial acrobatics, there is a lot of high-pitched peeping (like Mike Tyson, eagles are big and mean-looking, but their “voice” is a high-pitched bell-like sound…). I presume these sounds and aerial displays are discussions over territory. There are quite a few bald eagles around Saturna.
Adult Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in front of my house
Some birds – like the ravens – never leave the island, but bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) head for the salmon rivers of BC in the fall. During that season, those rivers are true all-you-can-eat buffets for eagles and other wildlife. For pictures of that, see my November post about Goldstream, near Victoria.

This set of pictures was taken from my deck, yesterday. First, an adult perched on that tree for almost 30 minutes in the early afternoon. Surveying the neighbourhood, trying to decide if anything edible might be around. Love those piercing yellow eyes, don’t you?
Immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Then, four hours later, while fixing dinner, I spotted the next visitor to the same tree. An immature bald eagle. According to the bird books in my collection, immature eagles only acquire the full white feathers on the head and tail by their fifth year, less frequently when they are four years old… So Junior, below, was probably following mommy around.
Immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Close Up

I left my cooking to get my camera, and get some pictures of Junior too. It was getting dark, so they are a bit grainy.

Mountain Blues and Big Birds

I have been cooped up for long hours, working on the computer, and I needed to get some fresh air…

Here is one of my favourite escapes: a walk to the top of Mount Warburton Pike, on Saturna. It leads to superb view points of ocean and islands. Sometimes, a few flying superstars show up, and do aerial ballets, to the delight of those of us who make it up there.

Eagles flying, San Juan islands in background
Eagles aerobatics.Background: Orcas and San Juan islands.

On the day I took this picture, a pair of eagles was busy doing their thing. There were several more soaring in the thermals that rise in front of the bluffs.There are also squadrons of crows and, later this summer, teams of turkey vultures. It’s an exhilarating show.

The islands in view are in the US: Orcas islands. Behind them, the straight of Juan de Fuca, and the mountains in the background are part of the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington state. One of these days, I’ll go on a road trip and check it out.

In the meantime, I wander my island and enjoy the great outdoors.