Sometimes when I drive by this tree at the side of the estuary, it is loaded with bald eagles, decorating it like so many Christmas tree ornaments.
Today there was only one eagle — an immature one at that. The rest were busy foraging below the tree and up the river mouth at the Regal Eagle Deli. The last putrefied chum salmon lie like wet paper towels on the banks, exposed by the dropping tide.
Perhaps this one had eaten his fill and couldn’t stomach one more mouthful of rotten fish.
“Oh rats!” he says. “Another bird watcher.”
“I’ll give her my Exorcist pose – body facing one way, head looking the other. That’ll confuse her so she won’t know which is front or back.”
“Now, where was I? Oh yeah … urp … trying to digest that disgusting fermenting fish.”
Regal eagle looks for food,
Fish again? Not in the mood.
Chilly air, he shivers high
In the tree so he can spy
Rotten fish washed up below.
Better eat in case of snow.
Leaner times around the bend,
Need to eat or life could end.
Though he’d like fish still alive
Choosy eagles don’t survive.