In an unusual kayaking experience this summer, we saw first-hand just how “red in tooth and claw” Mother Nature can be.
We were watching a bald eagle being pursued by seagulls – a common sight on the west coast – when, with a sudden swoop, the eagle snatched a gull out of the air and made off with it, landing on a nearby islet.
Next we saw a flurry of white as the eagle expertly plucked the feathers from the gull and tossed then aside like confetti. By the time we had paddled closer to the islet, the gull had been reduced to something resembling a limp rag doll and the rocks and seaweed were littered with down.
Although we didn’t try to get too close, I guess the eagle didn’t fancy our company. Eyeing us, the bird lifted its massive wings and took off, holding onto the gull, whose head bobbed along like a macabre marionette as it was carried out over the bay.
Pretty? Definitely not. But pretty awesome all the same.