Busy soarers


The creeks are awash with kokanee salmon that have come to spawn and die. Many species gather to feast upon kokanee. I will feature only three that we see soaring over the creeks as they eye the fish.

Only big birds soar. For a bird to soar, it needs a fairly large lift-to-drag ratio, which means that it, too, has to be large. I watched an Osprey, a Bald Eagle, and a Turkey Vulture. (While only big birds can soar, only small birds can hover.)

The kokanee salmon gather in the local creeks to spawn.

The Osprey will pick off the local living fish as they arrive, but don’t eat the dead ones.

The Bald Eagle will happily eat either living or dead fish.

The Turkey Vulture specializes in eating just the dead fish.


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4 Responses to Busy soarers

  1. Angry Bird but not a Drone says:

    While fast birds stoop, wise birds use stealth.

  2. Trevor Goward says:

    A bit like dinner guests, these: early, on time, and late.

  3. B Huggons says:

    If big birds soar and small birds hover, when I watch pigeons flap and glide repeatedly,
    I wonder if they just the wrong shape for sustained flight?

  4. Linda Thyer says:

    Beautiful photos Alistair!
    Earlier on Sunday down at Lakeside Park, I saw an osprey soaring above, eyeing the waters below. There was quite a bit of wind, and several time the bird seemed to “float” on the winds in one place without moving for at least 5-10 seconds. Would that be hovering or soaring?

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