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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:18 PM   #1
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Long story - please bear with me.

When I go fishing, I take my camera with me, just in case. Earlier in the day while fishing, I had come across a ring-billed gull resting on a bit of log that was poking out of the water. I debated whether to shoot it 'cause it looked quite scenic, but I passed it up, after all, I thought, it's just a gull.

Fast forward to later in the day and I'm heading backto the dock when I stopped to take pics of some loons (will share another time once processed). In the distance, I could still make out a blob of white that was that same gull resting on the log. In an instant a shadow dropped out of the sky and blotted out the gull. I had no idea what had happened but I tried to take a photo, even knowing that it was too far, but maybe I'd be able to make some sense of it on the PC. Here's what I saw at a distance. Distant and indistinct to a degree but sufficient for me to figure out that some kind of raptor had just attacked the gull.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:23 PM   #2
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The bird, whatever it was, flew off with the gull and went out of sight around a small island. I knew that therewas a dead birch tree on that shoreline where I've seen ospreys before so I slowly motored around the island hoping that just maybe, the raptor might decide to stop there. As I rounded the island - sure enough - there it was perched in the birch tree. After closing the distance a bit, this is what I shot. The gull is hanging by a wing and its prospects are dim.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:27 PM   #3
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I tried to get a wee bit closer - this was exciting stuff, after all and I wanted to get as good a closeup as possible. The raptor, which I subsequently identified as an immature bald eagle, wasn't comfortable with my proximity and so took off, the hapless gull in tow.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:30 PM   #4
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While flying away, I could see that the gull was fluttering about in the eagle's talons - feathers were streaming about and I wondered how long the gull would survive.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:31 PM   #5
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Double post by mistake. Please ignore.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:34 PM   #6
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Last eagle and gull BIF photo.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:46 PM   #7
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By this time my neck was craned so far over while tracking the eagle's flight that I had to stop shooting so I could reposition myself. Of course that's when the gull freeditself from the eagle's clutches and kind of parasailed into the water. I wonderd if the eagle would try to reacquire its prey but no, it flew off over the tree line. Here's what the gull looked like. One wing completely shattered and shredded and a deep puncture wound just below the bill in the neck.It swam slowly intoreedsnear the shoreline. The following dayI was backin that same area and I found the gull, dead and afloat in the reeds. I took some consolation from thinking thatat least the gull wasn't devoured alive............

Quitethe experience for me - and so lucky to have been at the right place at the right time. Thanks for looking. Cheers, Dan


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Old Sep 9, 2008, 10:19 PM   #8
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Dan, that is an interesting experience and story. Excellent capturesas theaction unfolded! The Eagles don't discriminate do they?
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 10:44 PM   #9
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Dan, thanks for the unique peak into the matter of factness of nature. No good, no evil just nature doing what's been done for millennia. What a rare opportunity. You captured it well.

Steve
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Old Sep 10, 2008, 8:49 AM   #10
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That Ring Billed Gull got lucky to live! Great job capturing and sharing the moment with us.


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