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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you.  Rain, sun, wind...insects, birds, flowers...meteorites, rocks...seasonal changes...all are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Salish Sea, PNW
March 24, 2014

Over by Agate beach, on my afternoon bike ride this day, I was watching a flock of mergansers when I heard a hullabaloo in the next bay over. Up in the sky I saw a swirling mass of gulls there, at least 50 of them, screeching and diving. I still have no idea what started it all, but it looked cool, and I speeded over there to see.

Coming around the corner, I saw the big excitement was two adult Bald Eagles aggressively chasing one gull. They were swooping after it right there at my end of the bay. I threw the bike down, fumbling for my camera. This eagle passed 100 feet from me, flying fast.

eagle 1

the chase...

(All photos, such as they are, by me. In to enlarge)

Alas, most of my pictures of this chase were out of focus. Even though these are big birds, with a 6 - 8 foot wingspan, it's hard to match up the tiny red dot in the viewfinder with a bird swerving in three dimensions, at full speed. Not to mention my own excitement watching these awesome creatures. But here are a few, to give you a sense of the action.

eagle 9

Both eagles chased it over the headland to the larger bay beyond. Luckily, the bay is curved and they stayed far out over water there so I could still them half a mile off.

eagle 5

eagle 6
eagle 8
eagle 7

Even the Ravens got into the action for a moment.

eagle 10

It blew over quickly. The gulls were all gone. One eagle perched in a tree. The other rested on top a telephone pole.

eagle 11

I'm fairly sure this is the resident pair of eagles. With wings spread I can see the male's feather gap in his right wing and the female's gap in her left wing, which I've seen much closer up on other occasions recently. The fact that they are both out chasing gulls suggests they don't have a nest of eggs right now.


The Bucket is open for your nature observations of the day...

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Originally posted to Backyard Science on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shutterbugs and Birds and Birdwatching.

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