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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday late afternoon we were fishing the Ruby trying our best to get action from the discolored water. Suddenly we both hear this whooshing sound and from upriver what we think were two Golden Eagles were in hot pursuit of about 5 ducks. This mass of feathers was in afterburner mode and pushing a ton of air. First the group of ducks, then two very large dark birds hot on their tails. Happing ending for the ducks as the two attackers peeled off left and right not too far downstream. From what we could make out as they arched up and away, they were not Bald Eagles and seemed way too large to be Hawks... at least of species we've seen around the area. How cool would it be to capture that event on video!

From some quick i-search, mated pairs often hunt as a team. They have been clocked at speed approaching 200 mph when in dive mode! The area has lots of high near vertical rock escarpments which appears to be their preferred habitat. While not listed as a primary source of food, Duck-L'Orange is often on the menu.

www.eaglenova.com/photos-show-golden-eagle-nabbing-duck/

The weather was awesome (still wet wading) and fishing slow. But with some aggressive casting (like I'm OK if I lose this fly), and some patience...

Water Water resources Cloud Vertebrate Sky


Anyone else seen Golden Eagles in action? Until yesterday, I'd only seen them soaring and circling high up. We're fortunate our sport affords the opportunity to see and experience some cool stuff... yesterday's 5 second event is among my best of the best list.
 

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We watched a Golden claim a rooster my Dad dropped when I was a kid - the bird swooped-down, quickly dispatched the runner & defiantly placed 1 taloned foot on the bird as Dad's Springer ground to a halt. I can still hear Dad calling Duke back & saying: "I reckon the eagle gets that one."
 

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I watched a pair do their mating dance in the air some years ago,
over near Cottage Lake. Shameless pair did their thing right there in front of everybody. I had to tell my wife to look away.
Eagles are not sensitive creatures.
 

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Had a falcon chase a duck into the hole I was fishin. Poor duck seemed to be submerged for 1-2 minutes before it popped back to the surface, under an overhangin rock. Falcon must have been hungry...it proceeded to go after a raven next.
He probably would have liked the duck better...ravens taste like chicken. :D
 

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I've only seen a Golden Eagle once when I lived in NEO. It was sitting on a fence post next to the gravel road.

Bald Eagles I see all the time while fishing.

Long ago I was fishing Crane around the stick ups (dead trees that resulted when they built the reservoir). I was in my float tube and messing around changing flies or something... anyway, I was stationary. A Bald Eagle glided in and perched on the tree next to me in my tube. I was ignored. It ruffed its feathers then made a call that echoed across the lake. In the distance, I heard another eagle answer the call. Once the eagle above me heard the call, it seemed to relax and started preening itself.

It was like the bird was calling to its mate to check to see where it was and once it received an answer, it was satisfied that all was well.

Another time I was was fishing Davis and couldn't help but notice a Bald Eagle soaring above me. A osprey was diving at the eagle and giving it a hard time. Evidently the osprey had decided the eagle had entered its territory and was dumb enough to keep attacking the much larger bird.

At one point, the eagle had enough of the harassment and with a simple flick with its wing, it knocked the osprey out of the sky and into the lake.

The osprey floundered a bit on the surface, shook off the water and flew away. It no longer harassed the eagle that continued to soar around looking for a fish to grab.

I've also see Bald Eagles when fishing the McKenzie, the Willamette and the coastal lakes in Oregon. They really don't pay much attention to anglers... which is cool.
 

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Years ago I was working for a contractor at the local aluminum plant, we were building a catwalk off hangers and beams beneath the pier. As we sat on the beach eating lunch we watched an Eagle come out of the trees and hit the water. It lay there on the water with it's wings spread for what seemed like a few minutes. I said to my buddies " That f##cker is gonna drown". Then it started to pound it's wings on the water and slowly move forward, eventually it got going and barely cleared the water, skimming the surface until it reached the beach with what looked like a salmon in its' talons.
I was amazed to say the least. Since then I have talked to others who have seen similar events.

Chris
 
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Not in the outdoors, but at home - last fall on a very gusty day, a bunch of Doves were picking gravel out front as I watched (and probably was wishing that it wasn't windy). Suddenly, the Doves started to take flight as BAM, a hawk slammed-into a late-departing Dove, knocking feathers a-flying. The hawk started to eat lunch on the spot, but then flew his meal over to the shelter of a house across the way & dined. 20 minutes later, lunch was over & the next day the raptor returned & finished-off the rest.

There are always Ospreys at one of my spring bass haunts - watching them slowly circle, dive & hit the water is as much fun as me catching fish. I also had an owl claim a cottontail I had bagged with my .22 before I could get to it when I was a kid. I left the big-eyed whoo to his meal.

Just the other day as Hank & I sat in the Jeep sharing lunch along the Columbia, we watched an Otter sizing-up a Chihuahua unbeknownst to the diminutive but feisty dog's owner. I yelled, spooked the Otter & told the kid what had happened. I don't think he believed me when I told him there was an Otter under the abandoned concrete boat ramp, but he did put his pup on a leash. The tiny dog would have lost that encounter I fear.
 

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Osprey and I don't get along. Primarily because they scare the hell out of me.

More than once I'll be minding my own business out on a quiet lake in my pontoon boat fishing away when suddenly someone shoots a canon at me and the shell hits just behind my boat. I swear, I think I'm under fire!

When I turn around, I see an osprey taking off with a trout that I was trying to catch not 10 feet from my pontoon boat. The birds have no hesitation to dive right next to me to grab a trout and the resulting noise of the bird hitting the water scares the hell out of me every damned time!:eek:
 

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At the Emil Plum launch on the Snoqualmie one morning, while readying my raft for a float, I was startled by a rush of air only a few feet above my head as a large hawk in close pursuit of a duck shot past. A short distance downstream the duck plunged into the water while the hawk pulled up to circle overhead. After a brief period under water the duck surfaced again and the hawk stooped but was too late as the duck immediately dove again. This scenario was repeated at least five times before the hawk finally gave up and flew off in search of easier prey.
 
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I was in the passenger seat when my dad and I were driving between Bozeman and Billings. We saw a bald eagle circling in the distance, then dive for a gopher just off the shoulder in the road. Grabbed the gopher and made it's ascent right across the interstate and right in front of while we were doing eighty. A streak of gopher blood was left up the windshield right in front of my face.

I grew up a few houses away from this guy: http://www.outsidebozeman.com/community/people/bird-man. I saw two bald eagles and one golden anytime I wanted, from less than fifty feet. He once rehabbed two great horned owls, one of which stayed around our neighborhood and became partially tame...as in, when I was ten, I touched a live, wild, large owl and wasn't torn to shreds. The owl would many times sit on our deck watching us eat dinner.
 

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I once caught a glimpse of a golden eagle taking a magpie while floating the Grand Ronde. I didn't see clearly what happened clearly so pulled over to the bank and investigated and verified that yep, that eagle had begun munching on the dead magpie. I must have gotten too close, and it grabbed the carcass and flew away.

Another time, while doing a spawning survey by helicopter, I saw a bald eagle chasing a duck on the Skagit River. The duck was trying to get airborn, but the eagle would get close, so the duck dived at the last second. The eagle circled around and came at the duck from the other direction after the duck surfaced. This act was repeated about four times, and on the final run the duck got up enough speed to become airborn. The duck could fly faster than the eagle, so the eagle knew it had lost this time and broke off the chase.

Yet another time, I didn't see the nab, but as I was driving across the bridge at Rockport, a juvenile bald eagle barely flew over with a dead merganser in its talons. Must have been too early in the season for many dead chum salmon to forage on. Speaking of chum salmon, while surveying a slough I saw a bald eagle swoop down and grab a live chum salmon of about 10 pounds. A mature eagle weighs only 12 or 13 pounds, so I thought there was no way the bird could generate enough lift to fly away with the wriggling salmon. It couldn't, and the eagle was drug through the water for a bit before it could release its talons from the salmon.

It's quite the experience to be able to witness the game of predator and prey play out before our eyes.

Sg
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Osprey and I don't get along. Primarily because they scare the hell out of me.

More than once I'll be minding my own business out on a quiet lake in my pontoon boat fishing away when suddenly someone shoots a canon at me and the shell hits just behind my boat. I swear, I think I'm under fire!

When I turn around, I see an osprey taking off with a trout that I was trying to catch not 10 feet from my pontoon boat. The birds have no hesitation to dive right next to me to grab a trout and the resulting noise of the bird hitting the water scares the hell out of me every damned time!:eek:
I had that happen on Davis Lake many years ago. I had been watching an Osprey dive into the lake some distance away and thought "how cool". Then, some hours later a loud KASPLASH right behind me... quickly spinning in my tube, one is taking flight not 20 feet from me.

My first fishing trip on the Russian River in Nor. Cal ... bass fishing actually. I had no idea this was a major nude beach! Two young ladies waded in and asked I'd teach them how to fly cast ....
...and, did you let them handle your rod? :D
 

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I had that happen on Davis Lake many years ago. I had been watching an Osprey dive into the lake some distance away and thought "how cool". Then, some hours later a loud KASPLASH right behind me... quickly spinning in my tube, one is taking flight not 20 feet from me.

...and, did you let them handle your rod? :D
It would have been down right selfish if he didn't :)
 
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