The defeated eagle swims to shore and makes its way through the dried grass. Also in the grass isn another immature and two adults. Across the Seward highway are four eagles perched in trees. I am parked on the narrow shoulder of the Sterling highway, directly across from the log where all these battles are taking place. There are several other vehicles here, too.
To set the scene:
This is the lower junction of the Sterling and Seward highway at Tern Lake. The highway on the left is the Sterling; the highway on the right, behind the guard rail, is the Seward highway north to Anchorage. Note the binoculars sign on the right. Also note the partially submerged log, center right in the photo. That is where the action takes place.
Incidentally, in the trees at the far end of the pond there is a bald eagle sitting on top a spruce tree. The white spot is its head.
The eagle-in-possession tears off chunks and strips of fish flesh as a magpie waits for bits to come within its reach..
Note the body language of the eagle in the above photo. It is stretched up, trying to swallow a huge piece of fish. Does it remind you of hot dog eating contestants?
Here comes a magpie.
Two wet immature eagles sulk in the dried grass across the pond.
An immature eagle dives in and takes the salmon.
|I know it's out of focus, but I include it to show the change of possession.|
But not for long.....
It leaps up to meet the challenge. (Note the talons at the far left of the photo.)
A fourth-year eagle, just showing white in the head and tail feathers, fights for the fish.
Then crows about it.
Oh, no. Not in its face! That's rude.
An adult watches from the side of the pond.
The crowing continues.....
The immature eagle didn't have time for one bite when it had the fish so it attacks again.
And re-takes what's left of the salmon.
A raven watches from a guard rail post above the pond and magpie from the ground.
Directly across from me, an adult watches from the top of this sign.
|No binoculars needed to see this battle.|
All observed by a cautious young eagle.
(to be continued)