Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

Bold Bluff Nature Diary

Eagle Drops Midshipman on Wharf

Date: 4/20/03
Time: 8:19:55 AM
Remote Name:


My nephew, Steven, was on the wharf when he heard an eagle cry overhead. He looked up and saw the giant bird being chased by a few gulls. Instantaneously, SPLAT! A fish fell from the sky - right at his feet! He called me down to the wharf to examine the gift. It was a dark reddish-brown, codfish looking, with bulbous head and pop up eyes, about 10 inches long. On both sides of its white belly were rows of many tiny, tiny lights like miniature pearls. (Brass buttons of sea men's officers). This was a "Midshipman" up from the deep where the waters are cold and dark and lights on fish are common. Once a year in spring the Midshipman swim up to the beaches to lay their mass of bright yellow eggs and fertilize them under fairly large rocks in the intertidal zone. Then they slip out to sea again. Where this eagle got this hapless fish is a mystery to me - I've never seen one at Bold Bluff Retreat, although I've seen them up island at Booth Canal during a low tide walk with Salt Spring's fantastic marine biologist-photographer, David Denning. Steven picked up his little frog-catching net and tossed the dead fish out to sea hoping an eagle would pick it up again.

       Last changed: January 26, 2012