No eagles on the nest this morning; perhaps they are following the salmon today. Surely that has to be an easier meal for them than chasing down a duck. Although I recall one time…sitting on the deck with a group of people, we watched as a mallard flew just over our heads with an eagle pursuing it close behind. The mallard’s wings were beating as fast as they could, while in contrast, the eagle just slowly and easily glided behind with an occasional wing movement. They both flew to the north and then did a U-turn to the south, the eagle biding his time and hanging just behind the mallard. They flew over the deck again, not 20 feet above us. We could almost feel the duck’s hammering heart as we heard its wings pounding away, desperate to make its escape from the danger lurking behind. The duck must have finally used up its energy and it splashed down at the far end of the lake, with the eagle right behind it. There was a splash as the duck landed and then a second splash. The eagle rose, and the duck was no longer visible. Standing on the deck, the group of people just stared, stunned to have seen nature, brutal nature, in action.
A friend who lives fairly close to the lake has also had close encounters with the eagles. She has farm animals, including chickens, ducks, and geese. She has seen the eagles stop by for a chicken dinner plenty of times. Her opinion is that if a chicken is stupid enough to be outside, by itself, and an eagle is near, well, if the eagle gets that chicken, that’s survival of the fittest at its finest.