The common murre is a medium-sized waterbird with a black back and head, white underside and a long, slender, pointed bill. Ironically except for the waterbird and bill it also describes an orca / killer whale. On this morning we came upon a lone transient or Biggs orca (they are the mammal eaters). It was odd enough for this orca to be on its own but apparently it travels this way frequently. It was also playing with the murres with unfortunate side effects. It would come up beneath the birds and grab them and then toss them into the air. It would play with them for a while and then find another. It was fascinating to watch but also sad as there were four murres left on the surface.
Bald eagles are sexually mature at four or five years of age and this is indicated by the fact they now have their white heads. When they are old enough to breed, they often return to the area where they were born. It is thought that bald eagles mate for life and thus when we are running along the shore on tours from Grizzly Bear Lodge if you see one eagle the other will be close. It is not very common to have them in the same tree as it narrows the area for fishing but is does give one a chance to determine which is the female. The female is the larger of a mated pair in this case I think the higher of the two but unless they are side by side on a branch it is hard to tell.
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