June 20, 2018 Seabeck, Washington

Juvenile Bald Eagle
Juvenile Bald Eagle

Hood Canal for Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

I visited the Hood Canal in my first year on the road and was absolutely amazed at the number of Bald Eagles gathered here to take advantage of the annual Sculpin spawn amongst the oyster beds here at the mouth of Big Beef Creek in Seabeck.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

Unfortunately that was not the case this year. I was told that the number of eagles gathering here has been diminishing every year and I never saw more than five eagles at any one time over the four days I was here. In 2014 there would be as many as 60 eagles present at any one time, and back then I was told that I was there at a ” bad ” time, since there used to be over 100 gathered there during May and June.

( Since I don’t have any great eagle shots from this visit, you can see some of the eagle shots taken here from 2014 if you visit the following blog posts:

May 19, 2014     and   May 20, 2014  )

Bald Eagle
Attack!

Bald eagle diving down to persuade a heron to drop it’s catch.

Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron

There did seem to be as many Great Blue Herons here as there were in 2014, just not as many eagles, and the herons most likely were quite happy about the reduced number of eagles, so that now they could swallow their fish without the constant threat of theft from the eagles.

Bald Eagle Theft
Bald Eagle Theft

Still, on occassion, an eagle would spot a successful heron catch and swoop in to steal the fish.

Juvenile Bald Eagle Harassing Heron
Juvenile Bald Eagle Harassing Heron
Juvenile Bald Eagle with Sculpin
Juvenile Bald Eagle with Sculpin

You can just see the tail of the sculpin this immature eagle stole from one of the herons.

I again stayed at the Scenic Beach State Park in Seabeck as I did in 2014, but could only get a site for Monday through Thursday as the campground has every site reserved for Friday and Saturday. That happens to be the case for almost every weekend during the summer months, not only here but at pretty much every desirable state park here in the northwest. But since there aren’t any eagles here to photograph anyway, I won’t be disappointed that I have to move on come Friday.

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4 thoughts on “June 20, 2018 Seabeck, Washington”

  1. I had to cancel my upcoming brief trip up to Seabeck during the next low tides next week because my dog is old and has cancer and I can’t leave him with anyone even for a day. I’m surprised to hear about the eagle numbers. Have they had any days when the numbers were better?? I know they’ve been in decline, but they had a few days last year that were pretty good.

    1. They told me there really haven’t been any days this year that have seen numbers of eagles as in the past. During my four days, there seldom were more than a couple cars parked along that strip of road and in the past, it was always hard to find a spot to park.

      1. Wow….cars always lined both sides of the road during the right tides. I just wonder what caused such a severe decline. I mean the eagles could get far enough away from the photographers and it’s not like they were chased or harassed. It’s impossible to know…..

        1. Don’t know myself. The herons seem to be catching plenty of sculpin so I wouldn’t think it’s a lack of fish. perhaps the eagles have simply found a better spot?

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