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 Post subject: Deathmatch -- Eagle vs Goose
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:08 am 
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A couple of nights ago RobertM and I were paddling on the Nicomekl River where we witnessed at very close distance, a bald eagle attacking a Canada goose -- in mid-air and then in the water.

The first thing we saw was a what appeared to be two geese flying low on the water, they passed Robert only a few feet beside him at an elevation level with Robert's eyes. Only after they passed did we realize that the goose was being chased by a bald eagle! I immediately turned around, changed the lens on my camera, and began taking photos. But before I could get off my first shot, the eagle had caught the goose in the air and in an instant, had forced the goose into the water. The eagle then circled around and came back towards the goose with talons fully exposed. Just at the last moment before the eagle's talons would have grabbed onto the goose, the goose dove underneath the water. The eagle then circled around again for another attack. All of this took place in mere seconds, but by this time, my camera was ready for the third attack.

The eagle (near the waterline of the boat), setting up for an attack. Notice the second eagle near the top of the photo, watching from above:
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The goose keeps facing the eagle as it approaches, anxiously waiting...
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With the eagle swifly approaching, the goose lowers it's head...
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And at the moment when the eagle lowers it's legs to expose it's talons, the goose goes for a swim!
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Score for this round: Goose 1, Eagle 0
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The eagle banks hard to the right...
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And briefly touches down on a piling before almost instantly...
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Attacking again!:
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But the goose evades the eagle by diving again!:
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Final score: Goose - still alive. Eagle: still hungry.
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After the last attack, the eagle landed in a nearby tree, intently watching with all it's attention focused on the goose and our approaching kayaks. The current was pushing us towards the goose and we assumed that we were too close for the eagle to risk another attack. The goose appeared to be unscathed, although we couldn't tell for certain.

I thought it was kind of cool that we had saved this goose's goose.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:23 am 
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Those are way cool photos, Dan. Right place, right time, right guy behind the lens! Way to go! Definitely magazine quality series. You should shop these around :!:

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 Post subject: Re: Deathmatch 2007 -- Eagle vs Goose
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:34 am 
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Dan_Millsip wrote:
I thought it was kind of cool that we had saved this goose's goose.


WOW! :shock:

I love seeing bald eagles, and I know they hunt and eat to survive, but I'm still glad to see the goose got away! Call me a suck, but I'd rather just pretend eagles survive on ugly animals (ignorance is bliss). Doesn't bother me to see them catch fish (I witnessed a bald eagle dive to catch a trout about 20 feet away from my boat on Oyama Lake), but there's something about other critters that I tend to root for the underdog (I also witnessed an eagle trying to get a duck at Crescent Beach...we left before we could see nature take it's course).

AMAZING photos, Dan!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:43 pm 
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Great photos Dan !

A friend of mine lives on a bluff overlooking Georgia Strait lucky dog ... anyway he witnessed two bald eagles attack a seagull in just the same fashion as you described only they got it. Undoubtedly a mated pair . Eagles live for quite a while so they learn a few things over the years.

They also kill young fawns according to local farmers. The doe will set her fawn down in a field then she goes a ways off to feed , the eagle sees the helpless fawn and bobs yer uncle , fresh venison ummm ummm good :P


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Awesome shots!! What camera ,lens, and speed did you shoot at. Must be pretty fast to catch the water movement too!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:07 pm 
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told you so Dan! Astoriadave agrees... definitely worth showing to magazines, photo, birding, kayaking fishing, tourism... heck the list is endless.
You never know Canon may even decide to sponsor you. :!:
BTW a BIG thanks to you & Mick, we had great fun doing Port Moody at night, but were up waaay past our bedtime :wink:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:13 pm 
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For a second there I thought this was the National Geographic website. Amazing Photos!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:04 pm 
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You know, you think you're lucky seeing something like this once...

This today on Pitt Lake:

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Not such great photos, but Maddie and I sat and watched as we paddled back to Grant Narrows as this eagle "stalked" this duck and made several attacks -- only to have the duck dive underwater each time at the last moment. The whole event took about 20 minutes but unfortunately we were just a bit too far away to get any really good photos this time.

Like the goose attack above, there were two eagles present with one of them doing most of the attacking (at one time, both eagles attacked today, one right after the other).

Truly, it was an incredible sight to watch as these two large predators were evaded by a defenseless duck (eventually, the duck managed to fly away).

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Here's another sequence of another attack (we witnessed about 5 attacks in total). Again, not great photos, but the action is there:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:34 pm 
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Amazing Dan! I can just hear them now, Hey! there's that Millsip fellah with his Camera, let's put on a show" :lol: There must be an aura around you that attracts this sort of behaviour. :wink:
Incredible!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Wow, that's great. You can really see the movement implied between photos.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:50 am 
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Absolutely amazing pictures!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Nice pics Dan. My wife and I were paddling last year on Indian Arm and witnessed an eagle trying to catch a harlequen duck. The duck kept diving and then finally made a break for it and started flying really low across the water. The eagle came just above us and I swear we could feel the air from its wings; it was awesome. The duck got away but did that eagle ever accelerate.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:47 pm 
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I've watched some crows harassing a pair of bald eagles, the crows were much more agile and would attack from above and behind. The eagles put an end to it by splitting up then picking off the crows that were concentrating on the other.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Great shots Dan, somewhere I've got a nice sunset shot of a not so lucky mallard failing to evade a bald eagle off of Westham Island... but geese are much smarter ;)


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