Life and Death on the Water

Mother Merganser vs Gull

I saw a mature American Bald eagle snatch a gull off the water today. I was just sitting down for a little me time, me and the Internet that is, and noticed a down bound lake boat (Algoma Strongfield) out the porch window. I was watching the boat through binoculars, when the eagle swooped into my field-of-view and then down upon an unsuspecting gull that was floating on the water just offshore, in front of the cabin. On its first pass, the eagle nicked the gull, probably stunning it, because the gull just sat there. Then the eagle came around again, low over the water and thumped it again. On the third try, the eagle snatched in its talons, which did trigger a gull squawk and flew off with its prey. Harry and I ran down to the beach, to see if there was more to see, but to no avail.

They say that if you don’t have pics then it didn’t happen, but it did happen, I saw it. This is the second young gull this week that has become eagle food. After today’s snatch and grab all the immature gulls that had been lining the beach this week all disappeared for a while, but later in the day they began to flitter back. It’s still early August, but this far north the signs are already evident, winter is coming. Many of the mature gulls have already left for the season.  Time is running out for the young gulls still around here and many of them will not make it. I did manage to capture the pictured encounter between a group of mergansers (mother and her chicks) and an immature gull. I don’t know it the gull was actually after the chicks, because all of the birds were fleeing shore and me on it, but the mother obviously thought that the gull was too close. 

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