[Tweeters] Ross's Gull Photos - Monty?

Hubbell ldhubbell at comcast.net
Thu Dec 5 13:33:01 PST 2019


Excellent photos!


Thank you for the precise location!

Marsh Island is within Monty and Marsha’s territory. As a matter of fact the tallest cottonwood on Marsh Island is their secondary hunting location and it is very close to the platform Dennis mentioned. Ryan’s fabulous photos show an eagle with a clear, bright white head. Marsha has a gray smudge behind her eye and I believe the hint of darkness would be visible if that was her in the photos. Based on the location, color and behavior I suspect it was Monty who caught the gull. (I do wish he had eaten a coot instead.)

From the photos it looks like the eagle came in low from the west - as opposed to diving down from the nearby cottonwood. This reinforces the idea it was Monty since their nest is on the S.E. corner of Montlake Cut - almost directly west. Their primary hunting roost is just north of the WAC, above the old world cedars, which is slightly north but also mostly west. (By the way, I am convinced that was Marsha sitting on the cedars during the Apple Cup game.) In the last photo it looks like the eagle is turning after catching the gull. I am wondering if it flew west to perch with its food.

Ryan, Did you happen to notice it the eagle returned to the cottonwoods closer to Montlake Cut (and Monty and Marsha’s nest) or the cedars immediately north of the Waterfront Activities Center (WAC) to perch and consume the gull? If so, that would reinforce my suspicion that Monty was the eagle involved.

If it was not Monty, then I would expect the Talarus male to turn north toward East Point or Yesler Swamp with a slight chance that he might go northwest to the cottonwoods north of the WAC and just north of Monty and Marsha’s perch in the cedars e.g. at the southern border of Talia and Russ' territory. Although, heading directly north, deeper into his territory, would reduce the chances of interacting with Monty and Marsha and potentially losing his prize. If the eagle was Albert from the Broadmoor nest i would expect it to turn towards Foster Island (which is inside their territory) going either directly east or south east towards the nesting tree. A few years back, when I saw Albert catch a gull just to the west of Foster Island he had to stop and rest three times on the way back to the nest. He could carry the gull but it was a taxing load. In any case, I suspect the direction the eagle flew with the gull should be a fairly reliable indicator of its home territory e.g a safer place to eat.

I realize this is all conjecture on my part but I do find the challenge virtually irresistible.


ps: This week’s post on the blog has a number of pictures of Monty and Marsha which display their facial differences. https://unionbaywatch.blogspot.com/2019/12/thankful.html <https://unionbaywatch.blogspot.com/2019/12/thankful.html>

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