02.27.07

Bald eagle observation

Posted in Random thoughts at 1:21 pm by ducky

As I was walking across campus today, I saw a bald eagle soar past — closely followed by five or six seagulls that harassed the eagle a bit.

After I got home, I saw two bald eagles land on a tree outside my window and sit in the top branches.  Again, I saw some smaller birds appear and harass the eagles.

I presume that the smaller birds hassle the eagles because they don’t want the eagles to prey on their chicks.  Maybe also the eagles prey on seagulls and smaller birds, but can only succeed if they have the element of surprise.  Maybe eagles have to grab the other birds from behind, snapping the smaller birds’ neck.  By harassing the eagles when the eagles are not at an advantage, maybe the smaller birds can convince the eagles to move on to the next forest over.

I don’t think there are analogous situations in the terrestrial world.  I’m trying to imagine a gang of rabbit thugs harassing a mountain lion, and the image — while amusing — just is not working for me.

Comments »

  1. ducky said,

    February 28, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    A friend of mine says that bald eagles mostly eat fish, not smaller birds. Apparently the smaller birds don’t know this, and just see a profile that says “predator” and go nuts.

    So my analogy about rabbits harassing a mountain lion isn’t appropriate. The rabbit thugs instead would be harassing a bull.

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