Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Eagles in Cougar Canyon

The warm weather and little rain means that the trails in the canyon have started to dry out and Lucy and I have resumed our daily walks there. For the last two years my friend Chris has been telling me that the eagles have a nest in this huge tree, but I have rarely seen them. So this year I decided to take my camera every time I went and make a point of checking the tree. There are only a few spaces along the path that the tree can be seen from. Today I got lucky and managed to get these pictures of the young eagle. Some days there are two eagles sitting there one very large one and this little one. I find it so thrilling to see these lovely birds. There is something about eagles that I find mesmerizing and I am not sure what it is. I used to think that Blue Heron's were my favorite birds. They always make me smile, but eagles fascinate me and make me want to find places where they are so I can watch them.
There are many eagles on Gambier Island I am told by my friend who has a cabin there. They come to eat the salmon as they spawn up the creek. The Sea Ranch, where my friends house is, buys a flock of lambs every spring and raise them. Last year a lamb died and two eagles devoured it in one day leaving nothing but a lump of wool! I can't imagine that their beaks are that strong, but I have seen them take a large salmon right out of the water and fly away with it!
These birds are so amazing I cannot imagine that people would want to harm them, yet that is exactly what is happening to these beautiful creatures. There is such a huge market for their feathers and talons, even though it is illegal, people shoot them and sell their parts. The fines and sentences are not harsh enough to prevent this heinous act. For me nature is so beautiful and so precious that I cannot imagine wanting to harm any of it.

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