Field Journal Blog

This blog is my personal journal of in the field observations for Track and Sign.

2015-11-26 Sauvie Island Eagles ✓

Terry Kem - Saturday, November 28, 2015

Species of note: Bald Eagle
Species List: Domestic dog-t,v, black-tailed deer-t, stripped skunk-t, DIJu-v, GCSp-v, 2 flock of MoDo-v, Kill-t, Scrubjay-t, Gull-v,t, 5 BaEa 3imm-v, CoFl-v, King-h, AmCo-v, Scau-v, Cormarants-v, RTHa-v, BeWr-h, DoWo-vh, BCCh-v, GBHe-t, SHCr-vh, VaTh-v, RCKi-v, Gulls-t, Sparrow?-t, AmRo-t.
Location: Sauvie Island, Willow Bar.

As I drove over the Sauvie Island bridge for a mid morning walk, I could see four mountains of the cascade range, Mt. Rainer, Mt. St Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood. This is always a good sign that indicates  unlimited visibility.

Most notable today was the crispness of the air, 38 degrees out, geese, duck, sand-hill cranes sounds. The ground was warming up from the sun, but in the shadows was frost. A I got to the river, the tide was almost all the way out, the Columbia River was calm and birds were active.

Of special note today were the Eagles flying around, 3 immature and 2 adults and the kill site I found. As I was walking down to the beach, in the low tide sands, I could see a large disturbed area.  From a distance it could have been made by dogs playing with their master, but as I got closer I could see the feathers.

 

The above image show where the eagle landed and perhaps made its first kill of one of the gulls.

Each joint of my finger is 1" long, so this eagle track is well over 6" in length. 

The above image shows the eagle hesitating here and there, perhaps there is more than one eagle at this site and this eagle is on the edge of the kill waiting for a share.

It is really hard to tell how many eagles were part of this kill. I usually see just one eagle land, than take off. I am uncertain behaviorally how they interact with each other. But I have seen many eagles perched together. 

Some Eagle track measurements
6 to 7-1/2”L x 3-1/4 to 5”W (me),
6-1/4, 6-1/2”, 6-3/4 (tk-2)
Metatarsal weakly registers or is absent. Toe pads very bulbous and rough

Weather: Clear, 37 to 46 degrees. Could see four mountains as pasted over the Sauvie bridge. 

Notes: v-visual, h-heard,