Date: 5/27/19 2:51 pm From: Joe Tucker <000001df0ca37a3b-dmarc-request...> Subject: What Eagles eat
Here's one for a little discussion. IMO, were the BE's the main culprit, the ranchers would be seeing them actually take down a new lamb on a fairly frequent basis. My experience in watching Eagles from here to the Oregon/Washington coasts is they prefer fish, but will predate smaller furry things from voles to rabbits. I would not doubt that on occasion they would take on a live new born lamb, but, BE's are famous for eating just about anything dead on the ground --- right along with the Vultures. Comments? jt
ASTORIA, Ore. – Residents of Oregon’s Clatsop County can remember when it wasrare to see a bald eagle. The raptors are now being blamed for killing lambs onnorthern ranches, The Daily Astorian reported . Brownsmead rancher Ben Parkerhas lost four lambs and suspects the same eagle is responsible. She has flownso low he has felt the wind from its wings. “She comes right down overhead,” hesaid. The raptors were once on the brink of extinction but they recoveredenough by 2007 to be removed from the federal endangered species list in Oregon.Now they’re found in nearly every county.
“It’s basically almost an explosion,” said Neal Maine, a wildlife photographerbased in Gearhart. State and federal reports say predation of livestock byeagles is rare on the North Coast. Many people don’t report it or are not sureit’s a bald eagle that did the killing.
“It gets a little murky,” said Russell Hunter, a veterinarian who practices inKnappa and investigates livestock deaths. “The predation is real and it’semotional and it’s a little bit hard to determine how much of it is going on.”
An animal may die in a field from other causes but be found with an eagle orcoyote eating it.
Bald eagles remain a protected species. Eagles can be hazed with if a rancherobtains a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit. None have been issued toranchers, but the agency has received inquiries. “(Bald eagles) aredemonstrating increasing tolerance for human activity in parts of Washingtonand Oregon as their increasing numbers – and increasing human populations –create more overlap between human-occupied and eagle habitats,” said JasonHolm, an agency spokesman.
Parker is keeping his sheep inside the barn for now. He is experimenting withscarecrows and flags. He has retained the carcass of a gutted 2 1/2month-oldlamb that he spotted with an eagle on top of it. Federal biologists willdetermine if the eagle killed it.
Neighbor Ed Johnson has lost three lambs this spring. Johnson uses guard dogsto protect sheep from coyotes and roaming domestic dogs.
Multiple people have spoken to Dirk Rohne, a Brownsmead dairy farmer and Portof Astoria commissioner, about eagle predation.
“The bald eagles impacting livestock is a new one,” he said. “I can’t sayanyone was talking about that until this year.” On a positive note, he said, eaglesappear to have taken a major bite out of Brownsmead’s invasive nutriapopulation. Johnson says issues with eagles come in cycles.
When runs of smelt runs are strong in the Columbia River, he doesn’t see asmany eagles. When runs of the forage fish are low, more eagles appear, he said.Eagle predation has not become a major financial problem for Brownsmead sheepranchers. They expect some loss each year to predators.