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Bird Notes from Admiralty Island, Southeastern Alaska

A. E. Hasselborg
Publication Information
5 (September-October)
From Field and Study

Bird Notes from Admiralty Island, Southeastern Alaska

The last winter has been a hard one in this section. It was all winter weather since last Thanksgiving, with snow ten feet deep the end of March. This was by far the worst winter I have ever seen here, and I believe that ninety percent of the deer will have died. In regard to recent Papers in THE CONDOR about the migration of horned owls to the Puget Sound region, here too they have been numerous. The rabbits all died in the interior last Year (1916), and the lynx and owls have all been moving to the coast during the last two years. They have almost cleaned up the grouse and ptarmigan, and the lynx are now doing well on mallards, etc. Last fall I shot three Bubos around the house, and a visitor shot one that had just killed a mink. An acquaintance, a reliable man, was trapping around Icy Point last fall and winter, and he says that he killed more than twenty owls with clubs or by throwing his trapping hatchet at them. He saw a great many more, some of them sitting around and hooting in broad daylight. One that he killed was eating a loon, not dead yet, one was eating a gull alive, one was eating a squirrel, one was eating another owl which was not dead yet, and one was eating a mink. Mink are very scarce, supposed to have been killed off by the owls. He found an eagle eating an owl, and I, myself, saw near a deer carcass signs that an eagle, presumably, had killed and eaten a white owl. I killed a very large Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in January at Mole Harbor, Admiralty Island. He had been trying to catch a duck until it was so wet and weak that I ran it down on the flats. The owls all left Mole Harbor when the snow began to pile up in December. There is a territorial bounty of fifty cents on eagles, and over three thousand have been killed. The Alaska Council of National Defence is striving to have bounties placed on bears and all sea birds.

A. E. Hasselborg

Juneau, Alaska, March 29, 1918

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