Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bald Eagle Festival

This past Saturday, we took our little brother (who is hardly little, since he is 15 and taller than me now!) to the Bald Eagle Festival east of Mission. (Sidebar: we volunteer as a "Big Couple" for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it is a lot of fun.) Anyway! We didn't see a lot of eagles, but we saw a lot of dying, post-spawn salmon. I had never before seen the whole salmon run thing, except in grainy films shown during science class back in grade school. It was fascinating, if stinky (think of salmon in various stages of decay.)

Yep, they shuffled off this mortal coil quite a while ago!

So beautiful, yet the smell was so rank. Lots of birds dining on salmon, but no bald eagles.The various lumps in the water and on the beach in the forefront are dead and dying salmon. They were HUGE.

"The sex is done and we're ready to die!" They look ratty because they are weak and thus prone to various fungal infections and so on. Can anyone identify this salmon species? I am a salmon ignoramous (but I do know they are tasty!)

Swimming upstream at the Inch Creek Hatchery.Somebody back there still has some life left in him. At the Hatchery, we saw an 80-year-old sturgeon who was huge... at least six feet long!

Further upriver, this mature bald eagle swooped in and stole salmon from each of the juveniles on the left. The seagulls kept well back, but the crows were pretty bold about stepping up to the dinner plate.

"YOU get it back from him." "No, YOU get it back from him." "I think we're screwed, Bob. Don't you hate seniority?" The baldy first stole the salmon of one juvenile, then the salmon of the other. Just asserting himself, I suppose. :)

I think our little brother took this shot, with our new telephoto lens. We were on the other side of the rive, well back from this scene.


  1. What cool pix! I guess I'm glad they don't arrive on my computer in Smell-o-Vision, though.

  2. It's hard for me to tell from the water distortion in this photo - did the fish have a pronounced curving hump in front of the fin leading down to the head? It appears so in this photo though the water is misleading - fi they did, they would most likely be pinks. The other reason I think they might be pinks is from what appears to be sort of a pale line going straight along each side. If not humpies they could actually be chinooks (kings) esp since you describe them as large. Just hard to tell in these photos...(for me anyway)


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