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Eagle hunts seagulls in downtown Vancouver... the circle of life (PHOTOS)

DH Vancouver Staff Aug 15, 2014 8:55 pm

A Vancouver photographer has captured a sequence of surreal photos that show a bird of prey making its move on an infant seagull.

West End resident Kevin Miklossy told Vancity Buzz that there has been an unusually noisy commotion with the neighbourhood’s seagull population over the past few days. As it turns out, a bald eagle who nests nearby has been upsetting the adult seagulls by hunting and feeding on their young.

A series of high quality photos catches the action, beginning with an adult seagull harassing the eagle when it comes too close for comfort with its younglings. It then spots two infant seagulls hiding under a vent on the rooftop of a building – they are young and unable to take flight and evade being hunted.

Images then show the eagle swooping down and using its large talons to grab one of the infants before flying away to feed its kids. An adult seagull returns and makes one last futile attempt to tail and stop the eagle from doing any harm.

Miklossy says the eagles have been returning everyday this week. There were three infant seagulls yesterday, but tomorrow there will likely be none.

Bald eagles have become highly adaptable to Metro Vancouver’s urban environment. Over the last few decades, their local populations rebounded after they transitioned from being a fish-eating species to one that primarily hunts other birds, including crows, ducks, pigeons and seagulls. Some have also chosen to scavenge along the seashore or even in landfills.

The birds can grow up to a size of three feet in length with wingspans of eight feet and can have lifespans reaching over 30 years. They are capable of breeding when they turn five years old.

In Vancouver, their nests are commonly found in Pacific Spirit Park, Stanley Park, Kitsilano and Jericho Beach Park, although they also do not mind nesting in public and noisy areas such as parking lots, rooftops or even industrial sites. Both parents hunt and feed young, raising their eaglets through the spring and summer.

An adult seagull harasses the hunter.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

The prey is spotted!

Image: Kevin Miklossy

The eagle starts to drop its legs and descends fast.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

It looks so graceful…

Image: Kevin Miklossy

It’s now starting to look more focused.

Image: Kevin Miklossy


Image: Kevin Miklossy

Those talons are scary!

Image: Kevin Miklossy

There is a huge predator flying over the city.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

It flared for just a couple of seconds to slow down.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

Still descending.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

Reaching out with those huge talons!

Image: Kevin Miklossy

This was a well-practiced grab and go.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

Probably off home to feed the kids.

Image: Kevin Miklossy

Feature Image: Kevin Miklossy

DH Vancouver Staff
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