A Mystery

Mike walked out of the generator shed and glimpsed a bald eagle as it rose from the ground near staff quarters. That’s a notable sight; the forest floor is not exactly a popular eagle hangout. He came to get his camera and me, and we checked it out.

09-kfgl-067.jpgOur arrival sent two eagles flying from nearby trees. This is what we found. Ew. But interesting.

It’s a fresh death/kill. The ribs were very bloody and supple, not frozen in the least. There was no mess around this yummy rib cage–no tracks, not much blood on the icy snow–so it seems the eagle had just brought it here.

So what is it, where is the rest of it, and how did it die or what killed it? Were the coyotes eating well? Had a black bear come out for a bite? Did the eagles actually kill something?

I took a walk around camp, up to the beach, and around an island of trees where I saw eagles land, but all I found were eagles and ravens feeding on a mound way out on the lagoon ice. The binoculars didn’t reveal much.

So I don’t know. I would guess that’s a sea otter or seal rib cage, but I don’t know which. The eagles didn’t return to eat it, but ravens and magpies had it stripped clean by the end of the day. The frozen bare ribs are still there.

Categories: Alaska