THE public outcry, Ms. Naumann later told me, was “getting more hostile as the day went on.” It became hard to ignore. At one point that Friday afternoon, she found herself on the phone with a woman who simply couldn’t accept the agency’s refusal to help Snap. “She was crying and crying and could not be consoled,” Ms. Naumann said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Naumann was periodically checking in on the eagles, via the EagleCam, and noticed that one of the adult birds had brought a dead female pigeon into the nest to feed its chicks. Ms. Naumann knows the pigeon was female because, once the eagles ripped it open, they discovered an egg inside. And so they ripped the pigeon’s egg open too and ate its contents. It must have made for great television, frankly. And yet, Ms. Naumann told me, none of the people criticizing the government for its willingness to let Snap die seemed to mind watching their birds tear apart a mother pigeon and her unborn chick. “So,” she ventured, “there was something contradictory about that.”

Streaming Eagles – In the real world, it would be contradictory, yes. But those people are watching TV, and the eagles are the protagonists of the TV show they like, and everybody knows that producers of TV shows don’t kill off their protagonists. Duh. (Pigeons, though? Not even antagonists. Just food.)