Life and Death
I struggled with which photo to post today and ultimately decided on this one because, although it involves death, it also portrays nature at it's purest. The bird, of course, a Bald Eagle. The prey, a Common Murre who had, until moments before, been attending to it's nest on the cliffs of Haystack Rocks on the Oregon Coast. I have not seen a Common Murre since I was a child in Alaska, so it was a real treat to find a large colony of them nesting on the rugged rocks at Cannon Beach.
As I was standing watching the Western Gulls, Tufted Puffins and Pelagic Cormorants swirl around in the air, suddenly the whole side of the rock cliff exploded with Murres - a hundred or more just peeled off the rocks flying in all directions. And, out of the chaos came a big Bald Eagle with his prey clutched in his powerful talons. Most likely the eagle is feeding it's own young. A volunteer who helps keep people away from the nesting colonies, said that the eagle comes in at least once a day and picks off a Murre, either an adult as seen here, or a baby from the nest. Some may find this sad or upsetting, but it's important to remember that the balance of nature is about predator and prey. And, fortunately, Common Murres are not a species of bird currently on the "species of concern" list.
Anyway, we all had a most wonderful day on the Oregon Coast. Big thanks to Dad who drove over 200 miles today! Tomorrow we'll stay a bit closer to home, at a wildlife refuge about a half hour or so from here.
My other choice for today's blip is is in Extra. It is a simple shot taken with my iPhone, but it shows the fabulous rock formations known as Haystack Rocks, and also where the colonies of puffins, murres, cormorants and gulls nest in the summer.
Thank you so very much for stopping by, and please forgive my lack of comments this week while I'm traveling.