The Daredevil likes to chase after me. He most certainly is a Daredevil,which is why I gave him that name!
The average eagle has 7000 feathers but only 12 are large and white. The tail feathers are very important to them! Tail feathers act like a rudder on a boat.They use them to steer with. You can see in the first shot the tail feathers tilted. He was making adjustments while chasing me. When he wants to slow down he will flair them.This captures more air and thus slows him down.
The largest feathers are the “primaries”,which are at the end of the wing.There are 10 primaries at the end of each wing,but the end 5 are the largest. They give lift and stability. Notice the shape of the primaries on his lefthand side. See how thin the shaft is and further down it widens. I’ve talked to a friend who is a bird expert about this “thinning”. He believes they are normally this shape but I wonder if its because of wearing? During moulting season (August) they loose many feathers but also do loose them individually during the year. There are smaller feathers growing underneath in behind that will eventually replace the feather being used for flight.
UPDATE – It appears the thinning of the feathers near the end of the wing are normal and not wearing. This narrowing is called “Emargination” on the anterior side and “Notch” on the posterior side. It allows for extra lift and maneuverability.
Whenever I see eagles paired up this time of year I know whats going on. Its mating season. They begin to pair up around Valentines day which I find cosmically ironic.
I found this pair on Rankin rocks. Its part of their territory. The female is on the right. Notice how much larger she is to the male. (about 1/3 )
Rankin rocks is far from Tofino so I do not come down here normally.
A gull was pestering the Daredevil. Eagles are the main target for many birds!
A gull took exception to Maggie being on the mudflats.Eagles are constantly being harassed by Crows and Gulls (sometimes Ravens as well).
Maggie danced up a storm! She did the mudflat two step!
The next full moon is on Tuesday.Both Monday and Tuesday look poor for weather. So I knew tonight would be my only shot at getting a eagle/moon shot. I looked around at the usual spots but couldn’t find a single eagle perched perfectly for me. Thankfully I found Maggie perched on top of a tree! I’ve never seen her perch on this spot before.Normally she’s down lower. She saved my butt!
Februarys moon is called a “Snow” moon.
I was happy to see Moe hanging around even if he’s not a fan.
This tree stands near Rankin cove. I believe its a Sitka and is dead. It stands out amongst the other trees.I’ve never seen a eagle perched on top and always wondered why? Eagles like high trees like this but for some reason I’ve never seen one there. As I went past today I did finally see one perched on top. This tree would be hundreds of years old but has zero growth anywhere so it must be dead. Trees will remain standing long after they die.Sooner or later a large wind storm will come along and bring it down where it will become a nurse log. All the nutrients will be absorbed back into the forest. So a tree can last hundreds of years after it has died.
I count nine in this ballet of swans. I noticed that one is always on guard watching while the others sleep.
Tranquil One was perched on Rankin rocks. You can see Tranquil valley in behind.