Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

To My Seattle Pals ..

PZ posted a lovely picture of a giant Hyacinth Macaw, Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus, eating the Washington Monument. I had to share the silliness by posting a picture of a giant Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, nesting atop the space needle, especially for my Seattle pals. (Also be sure to notice Seattle’s sleeping volcano in the distance, Mt. Rainier). If you click on the image, you will be directed to the pages that are crammed with yet more images of giant monsters.



  1. #1 Leung Shu Ren
    January 18, 2006

    You can see a lot of Bald Eagles around Seattle, and when I worked near the Space Needle, there were usually Eagles perching on it once a week.

    I was treated to quite a spectacle once, watching a murder of Crows attacking a Bald Eagle in Mid-Air near the Space Needle, with the Eagle losing the battle. The Eagle was forced to flee North-Eastward, toeward the woody areas north of Lake Washington. As the battle progressed, it was like a movie of a dogfight. The Crows would strafe and grab at the Eagle with talons and bills, and the Eagle would twist and turn, diving, looping, and soaring to break free.

    A couple of times the Eagle got a Crow with its bill or talons, and those wounded Crows immediately fled with clearly diminished flying abilities. But, every time the Eagle gained a little advantage to attack the Crows, other Crows would swoop down and attack the Eagle from the rear.

    This went on for about 15 or 20 minutes, and clearly indicated some incredible teamwork skills among the crows. Also interesting was the lack of murderous (ha ha), intent by the Crows; they were clearly driving the Eagle away, but they just as clearly did not press home their winning attacks. They seemed to prefer to allow the Eagle to flee. The Eagle seemed intent on fleeing, but acted as if it wanted to inflict some damage on the Crows as if to show that it was not being forced, like bravado in the face of a bully. (Perhaps that’s too anthropomorphic, but it looked like human peevishness).

    As a longtime birdwatcher, this was a fascinating episode to watch. The picture reminded me of it, and for that I thank you and PZ.

  2. #2 Dawn
    January 18, 2006

    thanks! it is a great picture!

  3. #3 Rexroth's Daughter
    January 19, 2006

    That is just great! I love it. The link is good too.

  4. #4 Bela Black
    November 11, 2006

    ack ack! attack of the big bald bird!

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