Another Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Walking along Eagle Lake near Christie Campground (Lassen County CA) in the early morning I heard an unusual bird call. Looking up, I realized this bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was the source of the sound. Since the call was unlike any I ever heard from a bald eagle, I listened to recordings of bald eagle calls once Leonard and I returned home. Nothing resembled this bald eagle’s calls on that day. Another natural history puzzle that will probably never be answered.

Although the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky, temperatures were in the 20s. Soon Eagle Lake would probably be frozen. The bald eagle diet consists primarily of fish. How does this large raptor survive our cold winters (and they do remain all winter) when ice covers its main food source?

In addition to fish, bald eagles eat small mammals, birds, carrion and garbage. It is not unusual to see this majestic bird  feeding on road kill. Bald eagles also patrol the large flocks of Canada and snow geese that winter in our area preying on sick, injured or unwary waterfowl.

When food is available, bald eagles gorge huge quantities and then digest their meal over several days allowing them to survive days or even weeks of fasting.



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