The Predator - Golden Eagle
Category: Birding at the Chico
It takes five years for a Golden Eagle to obtain adult plumage, here likely a bird in its second year of life. Native Americans treasure the tail feathers of Golden Eagles in this plumage with the broad white bases and dark tips. Rodents and other smaller raptors do not.  Golden Eagle is a predator that can and will kill animals that are larger than itself.  Check out the feet and imagine the power behind the currently folded talons.  In winter, Golden Eagles like perches near potential prey such as tall power poles above prairie-dog colonies (here coming off a tall pole on the Chico).  Golden Eagles can even take old pronghorns, but in winter their primary food sources are jackrabbits, cottontails, and prairie-dogs, but coyotes are not immune to the hunting skills of a Golden Eagle. In winter, carrion is also frequently consumed. Their formidible bill can tear open the toughest hides.
Posted by Bill M. on 12/02/2012

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