Bald eagles are a common sight in our tour area. As one of our guides says to his guests: “I will point out the first ten eagles and after that you are on your own.” This does not mean we don’t stop to get a good photo but that means when the eagle is a little lower down in a tree and not a white spot on the top of a tree. The waiting aspect of the photo is because that is what eagle do. They wait for a salmon on the surface or a herring ball to form to provide a “chance” for a meal.
The waters between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia are alive with herring, which are the staple in the food chain. The diving birds and ducks feed on the herring and forces them into “herring balls” which are a tight mass of swirling herring from the size a basketball to the size of a small boat. The duck force them to the surface where the seagulls and eagle dive into to feed. As a guide I try to locate these balls by watching the gulls, then position the boat near the gulls and wait for the humpbacks to come and feed.
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