[Tweeters] RE: Petersburg AK - no eagles

Reto Riesen riesenr at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 11 14:13:30 PDT 2013

Living in Prince Rupert BC, just south of the AK border, the exactly same point came up in conversation with birdwatchers from England - where are the eagles? Only, my hypothesis was different - I assumed that they have all gone to somewhere where there is lots of easy scavenging to be had.

The base of my assumption - Bald Eagles around here are very opportunistic and can either clear out completely from town, for example during herring spawn or eulachon runs, or crowd into town when fishing is ongoing and the canneries are in operation. That doesn't mean that their movements may not be earlier or later than in previous years, but I would count on them coming back as soon as the other food source is gone.

Reto Riesen
Prince Rupert BC

> Message: 1

> Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 17:45:17 -0700

> From: marlin greene <marlin at oneearthimages.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Petersburg AK - no eagles

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

> Message-ID: <D8CA53BE-B38D-4698-B3A4-EE93335EFB1A at oneearthimages.com>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


> I just returned from a few days in Petersburg, AK. I was hoping to see some pelagic birds and expecting to see eagles and ravens, which are usually found around Petersburg most any time of year. Well this is not a normal year. There were a lot of gulls -- Bonaparte's by the hundreds along with a few mew and glaucous-winged gulls. There were no eagles anywhere. We saw only one eagle on the entire island. There were non in town or around the fish processing plants where they normally hang out. The ravens were also in short supply. I wanted to get some new photographs of both ravens and eagles, but it was not to be for now.


> The locals were at a loss to explain where the eagles are. One captain I talked to who does whale watching runs was also puzzled by the lack of eagles in the whole Southeast Alaska area.


> A clue is probably the warming climate. This summer was really hot -- for Alaska -- with the temperature last week still hovering just under 80 degrees on sunny days in Petersburg. It was so hot a few weeks ago that the local popular fishing spot, the Blind Rapids, suffered a huge fish kill. More than 1500 King Salmon died due to elevated water temperature. The water was measured at over 80 degrees in the pools at the rapids where the fish gather.


> Climate change is not debatable in Alaska, it is having a tragic and wide spread impact. The salmon have nowhere else to go, they are already as north as they can get.


> It remains to be seen which of the birds that require colder environment, like the salmon, will be affected next.


> And, when will the eagles return to Petersburg?



> Marlin Greene: One Earth Images

> marlin at oneearthimages.com

> oneearthimages.com

> Ph: 206.784.1641


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