Sometimes, just below the surface, life happens. It roils and spins with a purpose that we, simply put, cannot truly understand.
Learning the ropes in the Aleutian bays of the Bering Sea can sometimes be a bit treacherous. But then there are days like this when the water is smooth as glass, the crab pots are full, and being a teen in Unalaska is void of angst. Nothing better.
Bald Eagles are very prolific in Unalaska. After a long, soaking rain it is not unusual to see eagles on every light pole with wings outspread trying to dry out. Even two and three to a pole. During salmon season when the humans are fishing there are always eagles lined up on my mother’s roof, watching us fillet fish, and then with a flip of the head, watching for fish jumping in the bay.
It is unusual, though, to find two absolutely abandoned nests that were active only days ago. This one, I can only speculate about. This nest is located in a remote area, halfway up a cliff. The other one, located on the cliffs near the senior center, has a story. There was a witness. One of the residents of the center told my husband that the pair of eagles were not actively on the nest when another eagle, with talons extended, came and snatched the baby eaglet out of the nest. The parents took chase, the baby was dropped by the evading eagle, and the parents actually ended up trying to drown the offending eagle in the lake. Of course the baby was dead. The parent eagles sat on the grass over hanging the cliff for 2 or three days. They have now completely abandoned the nest.
Survival, even for birds of prey at the top of the food chain, is never a given.