Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feeding the Eagles!

Comox, B.C., Vancouver Island , Jan. 2009I was born and raised on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and to this day I love everything about it!

It's a must do visit every year and here is one reason why. Eagles.....lots of big, beautiful Bald Eagles. Aren't they magnificent?

I received these pictures in an email and it seems our overly cold winter is taking a toll on the eagles.

Thankfully some kind souls have taken pity on them and set up a feed station at Goose Spit in Comox. I've never been to Goose Spit but now I think I'll have to search it out on our next visit.

They're fighting over some fish in this picture. Many times I've watched them battle it out in mid flight and it's awe inspiring.

It seems odd looking at the beach and seeing snow on it. Vancouver Island gets snow every year but it doesn't usually stick around for very long....guess I haven't been hanging out at the beach in the winter!

They look so majestic perched there in the early morning awaiting the arrival of breakfast.

Thank goodness there are people out there who not only notice the need for action but actually jump right in and do something about it!


The email I received about these pictures turns out to have been incorrect. These pictures were taken in Homer, Alaska and the lady responsible for the feeding was Jean Keene. Here is a little bit of info I found after a quick 'google'.

Jean Keene, the "Eagle Lady" passed away January 13, 2009. She was 85.

Jean lived in a campground on the Homer Spit since her relocation to Alaska in 1977. Jean began feeding a pair of eagles on the Spit shortly after her arrival. She worked for a seafood plant where she had permission to gather surplus and freezer burned fish for the eagles. After ten years, more than 200 eagles were coming by Jean's place for breakfast. Jean loaded fish into barrels and then into her pickup for the short drive home. Before she doled out fish to the eagles, she chopped them into smaller chunks making it easier for them to carry. Jean fed 200 to 300 eagles about 500 lbs. of fish daily from late December through mid April.


Stephanie said...

That's so cool! I've never seen a picture of more than one bald eagle before. They do look very majestic.

Cyndi in BC said...

Such gorgeous photos! Wouldn't be cool if someone set up one of those live webcams there? Just like the Africam that is online.

Anne-Marie said...

Wow! These pictures are jaw dropping! I can't imagine seeing so many eagles at once. They're beautiful!

Cathy Winsby said...

They are nice aren't they...makes me feel like going on a road trip! Maybe not in February though.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - I would bet those are photoshop specials. Eagles do not congregate in this way. These photos - are the same ones posted ALL OVER THE INTERNET. People want to believe blindly in good things. That is what religion is for.
I am sure you cannot find a different set of groups of eagles - no way.

Cathy Winsby said...

Sorry that you've never seen this sort of thing happen Anonymous. I was born and raised on Vancouver Island and indeed this does happen quite regularily on the west coast.

In fact, in Goldstream Park just outside of Victoria, the eagles congregate every year to overwinter there and feed on the remains of the salmon run. There will literally be over a hundred eagles there at one time.

Here is the link to Goldstreams site:

And you are correct. These pictures are all over the internet....they are quite lovely.

Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with Cathy, Anon. In Ketchican they indeed are sometimes a plague (well almost) especially in winter there are so many together at once in the same place. Truely sad that just because some folks "shop" their photos to create a sensation, we don't believe ANYTHING we see or "hear" on the internet! Anyway, GORGeous pictures! I have flown wing-tip to wing-tip with baldies and it is something I will never forget. (I was hang gliding so NO I don't actually HAVE wings on my body!)

Marie said...

Once we start to feed wildlife, it is cruel to stop. I dearly hope someone has taken up this cause and continued this practice, or there will be many dead birds this spring. I agree, the photos are breathtaking, but feeding wild animals is tricky business. Once begun it must be maintained. Any info regarding the well being of these animals is welcomed and appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the photoshop comment: Actually, they do congregate like that in Homer, Alaska. I have been there and seen it for myself. The eagle lady story is true. I have also seen eagles fly down and take fish from us while we were ice fishing.

Susan Stevenson said...

These photos were taken in Homer, as your edited information says. I live in AK and visited Homer each March until Jean Keene passed away. Here is my blog entry from 2008, with photos, from our visit to Homer.

Susan Stevenson
North Pole, AK

Dan said...

You do not have to go to Alaska to see eagles. If you go up the MIssissippi River past Quincy Ill to about Nauvoo Ill ain January to Feb you will find lots of Eagles there.

Anonymous said...

we have been feeding the eagles for over 10 years now and i have learned a couple of things. and one thing is for sure, the flock is very healthy and thriving beacuse of the hand out they get. most people think the bald eagle is a predatory bird but in fact they prefer free, easy food. where we live in bc they feed at the dump quite regularly. an eagle is not stupid - if they don't see food they move on in search of some!! on the days we don't feed they are spotted feeding at the lake or the dump. they only feed in our back yard for the cold winter months. when it warms up they fly right over on their way to the chicken farm where they also sometimes eat. most people that have a problem with us feeding them, know nothing about the birds and how they live and survive. i didn't either until all the bird feeding started quite simply with the magpies and such then the hawks came and that of course attracted the scavenging bald eagle.i have taken a lot of flak for it but it has been so worth it. amazing video footage.30 bald eagles at a time in my back yard eating with the other little birds and the hawks. so to who ever can feed them, because not everyone can supply that much food, keep it up the need it to survive in this world today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for updating your blog to give credit where credit is due. Even the best journalists need to make a correction now and then. I can offer extra confirmation that the pictures are real. They were captured in the oceanfront yard of the late Jean Keene in Alaska. I am her biographer. PhotoShop was not used and was not needed to show the amazing scenes scenes from Jean's yard. Thanks again. Sincerely, Cary Anderson, Author of "The Eagle Lady".