Eagles Have to Eat too

When my friend Gladys and I went for a walk along the roads near Camp Homewood, she spotted this eagle. I was admiring the water on the other side of the road and would have missed this sight completely if she hadn’t spoken up. I grabbed for my camera and hoped that the battery was still good.

The eagle sat fairly still for quite a while, intent on eating his lunch, so I had time to study him. Notice the feathers on his legs? They’re fluffy and make his legs look bigger than they are, but even so, I think they are quite strong.

I must have interrupted his meal. He hasn’t swallowed that morsel in his beak.

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Gulp! Down the hatch it goes!

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Hmm…. Now let’s see …. What other parts are the tenderest?

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I was curious to see what the eagle was eating. I suspected a small deer, or a sea bird, but the ringtail told the story. A raccoon. Not a particularly big one, but a raccoon nonetheless.

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By coming closer and closer, we finally made the eagle too uncomfortable. He flew up into a stand of trees. He’s not taking his eye off his dinner though.

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When we walked by later in the day, the whole carcass was gone. Gladys said she had seen the eagle trying to lift it earlier but I suppose we interfered with his supper plans. Up in these trees for safety, he would still have a good view of his meal. Maybe we convinced him it would be wiser to take the rest of his dinner to a safer place to eat it.

42 thoughts on “Eagles Have to Eat too

    • A good friend gave me this camera and I’ve been ever so grateful as it has opened up a whole new dimension of photography for me. I had only used the little point and click cameras and often bemoaned the fact that what I had seen with my eyes didn’t come through on the camera. With this one (a Nikon Coolpix P510 – a bridging camera to prep me for the next step up) I can zoom in on pictures without losing the clarity (if I handle the camera right), and I’ve had SO much pleasure from it. I would definitely recommend a good camera if photography interests you at all.

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    • I think raccoons are not very fast runners and when they’re crossing the road at night (which is when they’re most active) they are blinded by headlights, so it’s a double whammy. Slow moving and then blinded by the lights.

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    • I think it may be a wee bit early for eagle chicks but it won’t be long now. Either way, the parent birds need to get their strength up for what is to come. This is the time of year when the eagles eat well (with young birds and herring around). Times will be much harder for them later in the summer.

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  1. Your title was amusing, Anneli. The eagle is beautiful and the most detailed in his photos here. I have seen them in large netted and fenced zoo areas. I have seen a couple along the local Olentangy River then the one which soared around Mom and Dad’s lake retirement cottage. I was never able to capture him or her so well as you did. Hope that your friend didn’t mind him eating a spare raccoon. 🙂

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    • Well, it’s never nice to see an animal be killed and eaten for food. I think that’s why most humans like their meat cello-wrapped so it doesn’t look anything like the living animal, but as long as I love eating chicken and hamburger and the odd steak, I can’t really allow myself to get squeamish when an eagle enjoys a meaty meal too.

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  2. I found your Valentine’s Day post on purpleborough’s blog and had to see more of your work! This is awesome. The eagle looks so alert and peaceful all at once, both worlds. Beautiful. Grateful to NOW be following you 🙂 With joy and gratitude, Zach from strengthslife.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ewww, and cool all at the same time. I can only imagine what it’s like to see nature’s majesty working in real time. I don’t get that in my new (old) home. There was much more of it in Florida, but I still only caught glimpse of an eagle one time.

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    • I know it’s not nice to look at. I guess I’m used to seeing things like that every once in a while. We sometimes get bird carcasses or parts of the carcass dropped from the tall firs in the yard. The eagles go up there to feed on their kill and sometimes they drop things. Nature is really cruel sometimes but that’s the reality of life and death. We’ve been sheltered from all the sad parts of it by being raised under Walt Disney Syndrome and when we see how it really is out there, “Mother” Nature doesn’t seem so motherly anymore. But just look at it as how life is. Everything has to eat, and some are the “eaters” while others are the “eatees.”

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      • I have a story about food for birds falling from the sky. My husband works in the auto body business. In Florida, they had to fix the car of a woman who had a large fish fall into her car. And, I mean INTO, because it gut smashed inside the grill. They had to dig it out. People drive over the bridges of Tampa Bay there, and that’s where the large birds dive for fish and fly off with them.

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  4. I have been going over your photographs many times. The clarity and detail is amazing. I feel like the eagle is right here in the room with me. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photography. Yes, Eagles need to eat too. Didn’t know they went for something as big as a raccoon. Do people have to worry about small dogs if an eagle is around?

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    • Yes, yes, definitely YES. Do not let your little dog run free in an area where there are eagles. Occurrences of attempted dog-snatchings by eagles often take place near golf course communities. Lots of older people with little dogs, and lots of eagles in the trees that line the golf course. Bigger dogs are okay but those tiny little ones are at risk. Thanks for the nice compliment about the photos, Pam. I love taking pictures and am happy when they turn out okay.

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