Bald eagles are taking trash from a Seattle landfill and dumping it into suburban yards

Ohhh that explains the headline I read the other day about County Executive trying to figure out what to do with the eagles in the land fill.

I kept picturing Don Henley digging about for used guitar picks


I take it back. Our 19 year old kitty who doesn’t go much farther than the front door step but does enjoy being out in the sun was just helped by them. The Mrs got to the door first upon the noise of wings and animal scuffle and I was just in time to see a trash panda dashing across the street being chased by the crows that I feed.

ETA I don’t feed the kitty outside other than very small amounts of kibble that the crows will finish up (they watch and wait) and a small tub of water which they crows seem to appreciate as well.


I work at a landfill in Maryland. It’s not just bald eagles, although we have them, as well. It’s mainly the crows. Vultures, seagulls and bald eagles tend to stick close to the landfill and eat what they find on the spot.

Crows pick up stuff and carry it away into the surrounding woods. They create an astounding amount of litter! Sauce packets and containers (think fast food) are especially popular with them, for some reason. They know that aluminum foil often has food trapped inside, they carry it off. If they spot a plastic bag or baggie with food, they’ll pick up the whole thing and carry it away to rip into at leisure.


Don’t crows like shiny stuff in general? Maybe that’s part of the aluminum foil attraction?

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“A properly run landfill”…what an interesting comment. The one I work at has received awards for being “properly run” and is an actual tour attraction during international waste management conventions held in the U.S. I’ve had numerous commercial customers who access landfills along the East Coast of the U.S. tell me that “mine” is the cleanest and best-managed one they deal with.

But, um…the birds don’t give a shit. Really. They can’t recognize a “properly run landfill” from any other because they’re…um…birds? “Bird abatement”? Fucken hilarious. Oh, by the way, bald eagles aren’t endangered, any more. Nets and “sparkle lazers”? Good lord, let’s all sing Kumbyah, maybe that’ll keep the birds from accessing easy food sources.

On any given day, I witness anywhere between five and twelve bald eagles, perhaps three dozen black vultures, a handful of turkey vultures, innumerable grackles, several hundred crows, and a few thousand seagulls of four different species, all wheeling and vying for the food scraps we humans discard.

“Properly run landfills” exist, but the birds don’t know that, and they’ll do what the need to do to survive and thrive.


Hi, Jim! Yes, I’m sure that’s part of the attraction. I’ve witnessed other non-food items carried into the woods by crows that made me think “wtf?” It’s the “shiny factor”, of course. Good observation, thank you for thinking about it!


I always say that our relationship to trash would be different if we built the dump in the middle of town.


Having worked at a raptor center for a bit, I can honestly tell you that every bald eagle I’ve met has been a pissy dick of a bird. Golden eagles are far more chill. Even the smaller falcons are less freaky than our great symbol of foul attitude.


Ben Franklin was on to something (no surprise), even when the Franklin-suggested-the-turkey-as-symbol thing is just another myth. Old Ben knew his birds.


Late stage patriotism?

Late stage environmentalism?

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That’s the most American thing I’ve read today.

It’s got NIMBY-ism AND passive aggressive revenge baked in!


To be fair, the animal species that creates the astounding amount of litter, a small portion of which is picked over for food by birds, is human beings.


New keyboard please. There’s coffee sprayed all over mine.


What? Huh? Wait… Who is spreading awful biohazard grabage across the landscape?
Seems to me that it is we who are the trash monsters spreading biohazard waste and the eagle a victim of our waste.


If they start dropping syringes they’ll be the Eagles of Death Metal.


You’re taking that band name too literal…


We live in the general vicinity of a McDonalds. It’s amazing how many crows fly by our house and drop sauce packets into our back yard. I probably find one or two a week.


" it could mean nearly 20 tons of plastic washing up on one of the most remote beaches in the world."
It could mean that your landfill isn’t filling land, if you’re leaking into an ocean.


Franklin went through my mind, reading the article.

That’s part of what makes this funny. We create monstrous piles of hazardous waste in what were previously pristine ecosystems, and then this “trash bird” is so rude - rude, I tell you! - as to redistribute it slightly, putting it where it’s inconvenient for us. The nerve!


I once saw a raven flying with a whole baloney sandwich.

One need not go to the landfill.
In many neighborhoods the crows have a litter party every garbage day.