The bald eagles of Decorah, Iowa, have landed and won the hearts and minds of a grateful nation. We've had the RaptorResource UStream live cam on the desktop since yesterday afternoon. There were three eggs in the nest last night, then two eggs, one shattered shell and a brand new eaglet (see below) early morning.
So glad Ben Franklin lost out on this one. You may recall the First among equals of the Founding Fathers had lobbied for our native Wild Turkey, lord of the Thanksgiving groaning board, to represent the Shining City Upon a Hill as the National Bird.
Mom and dad take turns roosting and hunting … Dramatic when one or the other flies in … Wonder which task is more strenuous, tending the nest with its high winds and egg-tooth deliveries or flying off in search of protein to restock the family larder? Either way, they're traveling the road, sharing their load. Stacy McCain and Little Miss Attila of DaTechGuy on DaRadio's feminist-rhetoric face-off fame, take note.
Light of their lives, the first little wobbly chick arrived overnight. At a time like this, our favorite Henry Thoreau quote always comes to mind:
Be prepared, oh animal lovers, for brutally butchered carcasses of cute and fuzzy creatures that will break your heart. What appears to be a wild rabbit above, lower left.
Parents peck away at the innards of the prey and then regurgitate from beak to beak in a timeless ritual bonding. Life goes on.
We didn't want to go there, but this bit of prey has all the earmarks of the family cat. Talk about red in tooth and claw.
While fish provides the bulk of a bald eagle’s diet, they are opportunistic and will take advantage of many different food sources.