The Morning Hunter
This morning I spotted a bald eagle gliding across the marsh and I kept watching him as he started swooping low over the pond. Even though earlier I had seen a raft of mixed ducks out in the pond, I gave little thought to them as I assumed the eagle was looking for a fish. But when the eagle did a strafing run over the ducks I quickly identified his target…
Bald eagles will often hover and dive down toward ducks scattering them and causing them to submerge themselves under the water, providing what the ducks hope will be safety from attack. But…they can’t stay under very long and the eagle knows this quite well.
The eagle’s tactic here is to isolate an individual from the group and try to time a dive exactly right to hit the water just as the hapless bird surfaces. After a couple of failed attempts, the bald eagle splashed down and managed to pluck itself out a nice plump coot for breakfast. The intrepid hunter kept a tight grip on the coot as it flew back out toward the salt marsh with it’s prize!