Date: 3/15/17 8:09 am
From: Shively, Steve -FS <steveshively...>
Subject: [LABIRD-L] Bald eagle depredation of red-shouldered hawk
Yesterday, my Wildlife Technician, Cody Austell, was attempting to fix a malfunctioning camera that we have set up on an active bald eagle nest on the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest. An adult and two young were in the nest which is 100 feet up in a loblolly pine northwest of Woodworth in Rapides Parish. The following is Cody's eyewitness account of what happened when a red-shouldered hawk apparently attempted to prey on the young eagles:

"Around noon on 3/14/2017.

While I was trying to free up the connector mess on the closed circuit camera, laying on my hip on the forest floor, I started to hear the female eagle screech from inside the nest. I leaned back to peer around a tree and I saw what looked like a red-shouldered hawk dive bombing towards the nest kind of like a thrown football with the wings tucked in.

After the hawk made his second attempt with the female in the nest. I hear off to the south the cry of another eagle. As soon as that sound is heard the female leaps from the nest and the male is not far behind her. I struggle with my Kodak camera to turn on while this interaction was happening just to see that the batteries are dead (I never used the camera that makes no sense). So I scramble for my cellphone and catch a 10 second video. Awestruck by what I'm seeing unfold in front of me, I stare upwards as the two eagles make circles around the hawk as it desperately tries to fly away.

This goes on no longer than 2 minutes. When the hawk flaps its wings to turn the other way in the middle of the circle one of the eagles lunges inwards and grabs the hawk by the breast. The eagle with a loud "thunk" lands in the nest with the hawk.

At this time I grab a bunch of wires and jimmy a connection so I can see what's going on in the nest.

The black and white video obtained shows the mother digging her beak into the neck of the hawk as an eaglet scoots closer to be fed.

The entire interaction could not have lasted more than 15 minutes and it is one I will never forget."




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