Raptor Wednesday

Ran into a family of four Bald Eagles at Mt. Loretto on Staten Island. Haliaeetus leucocephalus: this is one of this year’s youngsters. The white head and tail feathers come in fully by age 4 or so. The bird was making a racket, calling its parents for food. Big, but still learning. An adult flew in with a fish; this one joined it, and then the other youngster, unseen and unheard before this, did as well. Eventually, both parents perched over the pond. There was something rather curious going at the other end of this pond. It looked like a mostly submerged, dead Canada Goose was being jerked about in the water (primaries were occasionally seen) and chomped on by at least two large Snapping Turtles. I do not think this escaped the eagles’ eyes. They are great scavengers. Probably the closest I’ve ever been to one of these birds. Looked so much bigger on the ground and in the water than up in a tree. From the back, I was reminded of a Turkey.The bird was poking at things in the water, picking some of them up.

We urged it to drop this (plastic bag, mylar balloon?). It did, luckily. The first year is fraught with hazards.

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