Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 6 > Page 18 - Life of the Eagle

Page 18 - Life of the Eagle

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1973/12/1 (1070 reads)
 

LIFE OF IHE EAGLE CONTINUED FROM BACK COVER thrusts its powerful talons into its breast, A Brant or Duck is carried off bodily., .but a Canada Goose is too heavy....The two great birds fall together to the water beneath, where the Eagle literally tows his prize along the surface until the shore is reached. In this way one has been Imown to drag a large Goose for nearly half a mile." Herrick adds: It is probably true that under certain conditions all small mammals and the young of the larger ones are subject to attack." The Bald Eagle is a permanent resident and returns not only to the same territory, but to the same nest (eyrie), Herrick: "Like most other birds it satisfies its build? ing instinct at a certain time every year, but unlike most it is chained to a cer? tain spot, which is its old nest. As a result of these yearly increments the Eagle's eyrie gradually rises in height and it may increase steadily in diameter often tak? ing the form of an inverted cone or balloon, until at last the nest-tree collapses under its ever increasing burden." The nests are often elaborate (Herrick observed a nest in Ohio 12 feet high and 8 1/2 feet across the top). In Cape Breton where so many streams are walled by high cliffs, many nests are found among the crags. Cliff nests are generally smaller than tree nests. On very remote islands' eggs are some? times laid on bare ground with little evidence of nesting construction. 60% of all nests Gittens observed in Nova Scotia were completely exposed to all points of the the compass; and if there was a bird on the nest, adult or eaglet, it was faced in? to the wind. In building the nest, Herrick writes: "Both birds were active in ga? thering sticks, mainly off the ground....On of the birds was often seen standing on the chosen site receiving and placing the sticks, or treading down the straw, which was brought in the talons of the mate. Considerable earth v;'s introduced with pieces of sod and with weeds. It is no wonder the core of such a structure comes to form a sodden mass of vegetable mold. After the third day the building impetus slackened and by the fourth day was virtually completed....This building fever is apt to recur with diminishing force during the first weeks after the young hatched, and gradually wanes until it is finally satisfied by bringing in an occasional stick, a wisp of dry grass, or a spray of oak leaves or of pine, '''ole stalks of field corn, often still bearing yellow ears, were commonly a late addition." Herrick saiv one of the Eagles, presumably the male, come to the nest after the Eaglets were hatched, take up a stick in his bill, carry it a few steps and lay it do m again. He considers this "decorating the nest," a kind of last of the nest-building impulse • along with the Eagle's occasionally flying at a branch, grabbing it in its talons, breaking it. off and then just letting it fall. The Eagle mates for life. If one of the birds should be killed, the other, if female will go off in search of a mate and will return xirith hira to her territory. Often the J W. StepKerxs Lircvited BUILDERS SUPPLIES HARDWARE AND PAINTS i'> WOODWORKERS AND MILL WORK Phone the Lumber Number 564-5554 Syd r ??y , f o V?v Scot i di A memlaer of the BOLD organization Now 207 Years Old ROBIN, JONES 8c WHITMAN, LIMITED Cheticamp, N.S. 224-2022 Inverness, N. S. 258-2362 Angel Manufacturing & Supply Co. Ltd For all your Heating and Cooking Requirements p. O. BOX 98 NORTH SYDNEY NOVA SCOTIA PHARMACY ONE-STOP-SHOPPING for Health & Beauty Operated by Mansons 70 Years of Service 564-8151 9Ag' BRBiqw'' ma4ij'lSi/itt
Cape Breton's Magazine
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