Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eagle's dead duck comes with strings . . .


White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) crosses sky the other day trailing a dead duck and long string of creeper. Catch looks less than fresh, a problem because ducks may dabble in death as ponds shrink and oxygen-depleted water carries toxic blooms and nasties such as botulism in the mud. Even the strongest of scavenger stomachs succumbs to Clostridia botulinum.

So, fresh is best, as Silver Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) at Dungeness boat ramp today will attest. Unsuccessful fisherman rewarded waiting locals with leftover bait fish. 

Striated Heron (Butorides striata) misses out against gulls (but dined well with later boldness at the fisherman's feet).       

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