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Thread subject: Weighty PREY!
Name Date Message
Marie 07/08/04 11:01 pm Last evening I sat on the beach watching my pair of adult eagles attempt to bring home to the nest a 'Huge' kill. It looked like a river otter! It had been taken in the water and had proven a BIG challenge for the eagles. We have a fair number of otters around the small islands off the beach here. The westerly wind that was blowing hard last evening created a real problem as well. The weight of the otter was another issue... I nearly froze, as the weather changed, while sitting watching. The interesting thing about this event was that the Eagles DID NOT work together to resolve the problem, even though both of them were on the same small island and within 4-5 ft of each other. I have seen this pair work together to bring down a gull or drown a duck for a kill but this was different behaviour. It appeared that the heavier one, the female, had the kill in her talons. She attempted to eat some and also allowed her mate to eat, when she flew a few feet away. However, neither of them got together to try to pull this 'KILL' apart, or shred it into large chunks to bring home to the eaglets. They do have very sharp bills, razor sharp, and no doubt could pick it apart. For 30 mins they just stood alone without motion. At times, during the two hours I watched, she would attempt to fly with it but was always buffetted by the wind. She would always turn back to the island. At one point when she flew the carcass dangled from her tallons and it looked like it was in streamers, however it still wouldn't break apart. I left the beach frozen and not knowing what became of the weighty prey! Today when I went down to the nest site I couldn't find any thing new beneath the nest. I was looking for a back bone or skull or even bones of limbs. This is nature at her cruelest.
Celeste 07/09/04 05:05 am The only word that I can think of is "wow". I picture the beautiful area you are surrounded in, and watching a "live" animal documentary in person. I know you were uncomfortable weather wise but how fortunate it was for you to witness all this in person. Are you there by yourself? or are there others who are aware of this show of nature in their "hometown". I always think when I travel, do the inhabitants of this beautiful place ever "see" where they live? Yesterday my husband was returning a book he took out on Canada of course, and we were looking at photos of Victoria and I was thinking of you. It must be overwelming beautiful.
Shelley 07/09/04 06:32 am Marie, I was riveted by your account! Did you have binoculars? (though I'm not sure I'd have wanted to see it *up close and personal*!!)

Sigh...how wonderful to feel safe enough to go walking at the beach alone in the evening! I used to love to go walking alone, but not any more. Toronto is considered a *safe* city, by American standards, I know, but it's still a big city, and we have more than our share of crime around here. I don't even like to go walking in the ravine near my house alone during the day, it's just not wise. *Things* have happened, too often for comfort. I HATE having to be that cautious and wary all the time! It's so contradictory to my nature. Maybe some day I'll win a big lottery, buy a place in the country and leave these crazy humans behind...

In the meantime, I love hearing about your adventures and living it vicariously... thank you!
Cecilia 07/09/04 09:11 am I'm sure that they figured out how to eat every morsel eventually...but that's a lot of meat! Whew! Do you think that they just keep some of it in the nest and nibble for a day or two? I've seen otters that looked like they could be 10 pounds...it's amazing to think that an eagle could bring one of those into a nest. All the folks in your neighborhood should keep their cats in doors for sure :-)
Marie 07/09/04 09:12 am Yes...Victoria has beauty that can make you want to cry, and where I live it is SAFE to walk alone. I do it all the time. This pair of Eagles is the most CELEBRATED of all the eagles in town. There are four pairs within a 15 mile water front area. Lots of people standing and staring up at the eagles with binoculars. I think at least three couples watched the eagles attempt to bring home that BIG KILL. We chatted as I left the beach for I usually find a quiet spot to whitness the activities alone. Now wait till I post later today what I SAW Last NIGHT. The youngest chick fell off a branch...4-5 ft drop below the nest. I was scared for the chick. I haven't got tine right now as I have to go to WORK... ;-((
Marie 07/09/04 09:17 am Cecelia...sorry to have to report this but when this pair of eagles left their nest in a huge tree that stood behind the FIRE-HALL( last year and went to the beach to build a nest) the 'BOYS' in blue, climbed the extention ladder and found several pussy-cat collars in their nest. Yes it does seem sad to know this fact.
Pam 07/09/04 09:57 am Oh No !! imagine how you would feel if the name tag had your address on it and it was returned to you with a note where it was found !
Mickey 07/09/04 12:28 pm I applaud the Eagles for ridding the world of cats :) *dog person here* Imagine the wing stength it must take ?
Stella 07/09/04 04:30 pm Ridding the world of cats, don't be so quick to judge who shall stay and who should go, especially those with the same name as a well known rodent.
Marie 07/09/04 04:49 pm Whoops...I didn't mean to cause a RIOT. I love all animals but especially DOGS, however I feel for those unlucky cats and especially for the owners who feel the tremendous loss. We all love our PETS. I cried for years after the death of my dog. Cats do kill millions of BIRDS which dogs don't do, generally speaking. We are trying to educate the wonderful Cat owners here in Victoria about this major problem. Bells on cats do help a little. We keep trying for the sake of everybody, especially the BIRDS. All animals need to be loved. As North Americans we love our pets and do a pretty good job of it.
Shelley 07/09/04 05:10 pm I am BOTH a dog person AND a cat person, having had both in my life for a long time. My cats are indoor cats and I'd never let them roam wild outside, even if I didn't live in a big city. I love the birds too much, and besides, a free-roaming cat's life is considerably shorter than an indoor cat's. I just lost my 2 beloved cats (last year), aged almost 18 and almost 19. They lived very long, healthy lives. My dog was nearly 16 when he died and although he was outdoors every day, he was always on a leash (a long one, in the yard).

Our pets are our family and it is up to us to be responsible about how we care for them. Education and awareness are key.
Cecilia 07/09/04 07:03 pm I second every word Shelley said! I have 4 cats that I dearly love but I wouldn't think of letting them go outdoors. #1. I don't want them to kill birds, #2. I don't want them to get run over by cars, poisoned, attacked by dogs or fleas and ticks etc. I love dogs too. In fact, there aren't many breathing entities that I don't like :-) (well - ticks, fleas, flies, termites, gnats etc...) The bottom line is that I sure would hate to be called by that guy who climbed up into that nest and found those collars. :-(

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004