January 4, 2012

Bald Eagle's Repast

Bald eagle dines on coot right next to its swimming  kin
A bald eagle has been making long daily visits to Great Meadows since the fall.  Open water has persisted in both the river and the marshes all the way into January, with just enough ice to corral the waterfowl and provide a handy feeding platform for their predators.  Add to that, a record number of coot staying on for the winter, and the refuge has become a destination dining experience for the eagle and other raptors.

On this cold winter day, I've been watching the eagle perch and move about the refuge for some two hours since 10 a.m.  Having lost track of him while photographing some long awaited river ice formations, I was surprised to re-spot him sitting on the ice at the far end of the lower impoundment enjoying a coot for lunch with nearly forty others swimming at his side.  Wished I'd had a 500mm lens to catch that uncanny juxtaposition!

The coots' taking refuge at the refuge this winter, gives new meaning to living in the moment.

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