The Hunt

On a nearby beach, the dropping tide produces a large mud flat that at this time of year becomes a nursery for various marine birds.  This also attracts the predators, usually Bald Eagles, that eye perspective meals from the surrounding trees.  Quite often the eagles will hunt in pairs and you know something is happening from the alarm calls of the Canada Geese and seagulls.

Two Bald Eagles discussing their next meal

Two Bald Eagles discussing their next meal

A merganser with 12 chicks is chosen

A Common Merganser with 12 chicks is chosen

Panic Ensues

Panic Ensues

The dive and one chick is grabbed

The dive and one chick is grabbed

The Bald Eagle mate joins the successful hunter while the Merganser and chicks re-group

The Bald Eagle mate joins the successful hunter while the mother Merganser and chicks re-group

The Mergansers seemed pretty calm after their ordeal.  I had often wondered why Mergansers had so many chicks and this is probably one of the reasons.  It was very easy pickings for the Eagle.  

 


2 comments

    • Thank you. Bald Eagles have a hard time of it and I’d venture to say from watching them that they have far more misses than hits when hunting. I guess sometimes they choose the easy kill though there wouldn’t be much meat on a Merganser chick.


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