Date: 2/7/18 11:17 am
From: Jim Grieshaber <jgrieshaber44...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] Question about Bald Eagle Behavior
Location: Great Swamp NWR Tuesday 2-6-2018 11:00 AM

As I walked toward the Overlook parking lot and crossed the bridge that
traverses the Great Brook (North Gate), two large birds flying at me on my
left side startled me. I immediately saw that one was a Great Blue Heron
and for a second assumed both were the same. I quickly realized the bird on
the left was a mature Bald Eagle!

I had only just touched the camera hanging at my side (not that I would
have gotten a decent BIF shot) when they separated. The heron landed on the
left bank of the creek; the Bald Eagle landed in a tree on the left side of
the creek. Both birds were only 15 feet from the bridge. The heron cowered
and made what seemed to be noises of distress while the eagle watched it.

I waited, camera ready, thinking I might have a chance of a photo showing
the heron making a run for it with the eagle in hot pursuit. But after
5-minutes the eagle got impatient and flew to a distant snag, north of the
bridge. The heron maintained its safe position. I later saw the eagle (I
assume it was the same one.) in a tree beyond the pond south of the bridge.

My question is: Do Bald Eagles ‘harass’ Great Blue Herons or was it
‘preying’ on the heron?


Jim Grieshaber

Somerset County

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