Bald Eagles Having Their Day

In my last post, I made the assumption that everyone knew I was talking about the Bald Eagles who frequent the Pacific Northwest area of Canada and US. In case you didn’t, here is an earlier post (with better pictures) with more about eagles.


According to this article, an American bald eagle attacked and brought down a government drone over Lake Michigan.

A squabble in the sky over Lake Michigan left one bald eagle victorious and one government drone mangled and sunken.

Hunter King, a drone pilot at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, was surveying an area of the lake near the state’s Upper Peninsula last month …

“When he looked up, the drone was gone, and an eagle was flying away,” said the department, whose name is abbreviated E.G.L.E.”

The department speculated that the eagle could have attacked because of a territorial dispute, because it was hungry “or maybe it did not like its name being misspelled.”

Bryan Pietsch. “Bald Eagle Sends Government Drone Into Lake Michigan.” New York Times, August 15, 2020

It sounds like this eagle is an ex-commando from the Dutch security firm used to hunt and destroy illegal drones.

The combative aggression of the American bald eagle is in sharp contrast to the Canadian bald eagles frequenting my home on Vancouver Island. Eagles nest near by and most mornings I hear their distinctive cries as they go about their day.

There’s nothing so beautiful as an eagle in flight. With their powerful wing span they can ride the air currents for hours, circling their territory and occasionally swooping down to pluck fish from the waves. Gorgeous. Majestic. Imperial. Which is why it’s a shock to see them pursued and harassed by smaller birds like crows and sea gulls. The issue is that the eagles are huge. The have a hard time dodging or going after the smaller spry birds.

I once watched a young eagle perch morosely on a branch while a family of black crows relentlessly heckled and dive bombed him. He looked miserable. His speckled brown feathers were wet and ruffled. He was a juvenile (his white head hadn’t grown in) and it was clear that he’d already been soaked by an unsuccessful venture in the sea. Too wet to fly away, too big to ward off the birds, he just sat there. I called him Alexander because he was having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

On another windy day, I saw an older mature eagle sitting at the top of a tall pole in the harbor. Solitary and majestic, he surveyed the territory that he considered his own. Even so, he was not having a very good day either. His name was Ozymandias.

Bald Eagle perched on tall wooden pole with backdrop of trees
Ozymandias, King of Birds

Photos taken on Vancouver Island, Canada.

15 Comments

  1. Well named, Sandy! What a handsome fella!
    Not a sight we would encounter in this neck of our woods – to think that they can be harassed by much smaller birds. It is so interesting how size really isn’t everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew you were talking about bald eagles as I’ve seen them on my visits to Vancouver Island and Washington State, but I’m glad if your doubts on that front led you to sharing more about these magnificent birds! I love your shots of Ozymandias, and the name you gave him: ‘Look on my works ye mighty, and despair’ 😮

    Like

    1. Being close to nature makes me want to learn more and I’m always happy to share. It’s good to know that you also found in interesting!

      Like

  3. Oh I can imagine the crows giving Alexander a hard time. Nature can be ruthless and the crows no doubt knew he was in a disadvantaged position! I hope he learnt a lesson there and avoided such a situation in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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