Saturday, July 24, 2010

What'll It Be - Carrion Or Mink? Bald Eagle & Mink

"Wow! I love Totman Cove Take-Out! It's better than Red's Eats in Wiscasset!"
This is as close to a critter cam as you could get, I'm sure of it. I took these shots less than an hour ago. I was sitting in my underwear at my computer reading e mail. Suddenly, a dark shadow loomed over swinging around from my left shoulder. "EAGLE!" I screamed to my husband and out the door I ran. The Butchie Boys mom was back! As you can see, the seal carcass is still there, boding well for my planned skull recovery. It's wedged tightly into the rocks. Madame Butchie has to use the full force of her wings and neck muscles to pull morsels from it. She yarns out  hunks then nibbles away quite daintily at the tidbits on the rocks. Before I crept across the deck and down the stairs for closer shots, my loving and attentive husband whispered from the door, "Would you like your bathrobe?" I whispered back, "Ya, and another camera battery, please." He had already brought coffee and breakfast to me in bed. What a guy. Other women's husbands hate it when I tell stuff like this because they look like marital slouches by comparison. And, unless they are obliging their own queens in these ways, they are. Tighten up your acts, boys!
     While I was watching Madame Butchie gnarling away, an American Mink showed up. I had recently been thinking about them as it was this time last year that I had last seen them. The eagle heard the mink first, then saw it. Twice, the mink scampered by, not fifty feet from her. I could tell she could hear it as she stopped yanking yuk and turned to it. She hesitated, glared at the mink, then fondly eyed the carcass. She looked at the mink again. But, in the end, the bird in the hand, or carcass in the claw as it were, won out over the possibility of fresh meat. We like to think of the majestic eagle as a hunter first and carrion scavenger second, but in this case, that was not true.
    Now, gentlemen, I suggest you all turn to your own bird in the hand, that dear old carcass you have at home, and go buy her flowers.
These eagle photographs were taken with a Canon 50D, Canon Zoom lens EF 100-400mm IS, L series at about 40 feet distance. Nice back yard I've got! 
 
American Mink scampering across the rocks and seaweed
Each time I've watched this eagle eating here at the Totman Cove Take-Out, she waddles away to the grass where she can dip her beak into the water and tidy up. I can anticipate when she'll take off based on this sequence of behaviors.

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16 comments:

  1. Amazing shots!! I didn't know eagles clean up afterwards - just like vultures who wipe off their head.

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  2. Thanks, Hilke. I'm going to post again right off with a series of the eagle washing her face and drinking water right after sloshing around in the carrion take-out.

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  3. Great pictures and post. I am amazed at that you got a picture of the mink, I was reading the post and thought no way did she get a picture of the mink? No she probably didn't, but yes!! There he was, so cute but I know they can be a little mean. You mentioned that they showed up last year, do minks usually hang around the ocean? I do realize the big deal about getting the picture of the American Bald Eagle but I knew you could do that.Thanks for such beautiful pictures.jj

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  4. Thanks for following my blog. I am just starting to get caught up on blog reading, and hope to visit here often. Your photography is impressive!

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  5. Gosh, Laurie, thanks. What else can I say?

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  6. Chris, thanks so much for that! I really like your blog, too.

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  7. jj-momscashblog,
    Thank you for the compliment! Mink hang around on the waters edge, fresh and salt.

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  8. Loved your blog...what grand pictures you take. You simply amaze me with your photos.

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  9. YES!!! WHAT A BACKYARD YOU HAVE – to the envy of the rest of us – and along with your good camera and great skill at capturing you visitors on film (oops!! Digital! – I am older - you know!). Enjoy your great shots of the wildlife at your door.



    And your way with words. I might be able to capture one or two equally great shots with the camera, but will never have your gift with words. Science was my love – hated English in school because writing was such a chore for me. To me, good writing is a gift – and it did not come my way. L



    Marie

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  10. Marie,
    You say you are not a writer, an yet, your words are lovley. Thank you. RRR

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  11. AWWWW! That Mink (the living one) was soooo cute!

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  12. There's an awful lot here to be envious of, Robin: the place where you live is simply stunning (but I tell myself it's not so great in the winter); that you can run down there to take pictures in your underwear tells me there aren't neighbors close by (as an apartment-dweller now I am a tad bit envious); that you can see wild life like this is tantalizing to me; that your husband treats you so well, and apparently so often, is delightful (I'm widowed nearly 11 years, but even when mine was alive and well he didn't do things like that--sigh). I'm just glad I'm more of a happy person than an envious one or I'd have to un-fav you because I couldn't stand to read and see all your riches! And I'm glad you realize how rich you are! Great pics, Robin. Thanks! Hug your hubby. Often. Rated. D
    Yarn Over

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  13. i love what you are doing.
    the photos are wonderful

    more
    more
    more
    wschanz

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  14. How incredible- both the shots and the view!
    hyblaean- Julie

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  15. What a wonderful front yard you have!
    Love the photographs, you have a real touch. Healthy looking wildlife, too.
    What a treat for us! I do hope you are working on a book of photographs. These are magnificent.
    o'stephanie

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