Waiting Game


The eagles play a waiting game on the Fish Creek Delta. They wait perched on spruce limbs where they could spot the arrival of food or a rival. They wait for the tide to recede. They long for the day king salmon enter the creek. The delta crows also wait for low tide and the salmon. But I can hear their young calling out for their mid-morning feed. The adults must long for the day their hatchlings fledge.


The impatient Aki rushes down a trail lined with blooming wild roses and cow parsnips. She has many scents to sample and cover with pee. The little dog doesn’t notice a formation of barn swallows dive on out matched mosquitoes. I feel like Aki and I are heavy bombers being escorted over enemy territory.


Perhaps because it landed so near a nest or because the crow is tired of the waiting game, it flies into an immature bald eagle to force it off it perch. The larger bird screeches out a warning but doesn’t move. In seconds the crow takes up station just above the eagle and lets out a string of sounds that could be curses. The eagle looks up at the diminutive crow, cocks its head, confused, rather than angry. Below, the swallows, their waiting game over, hunt prey.




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