Eagle takes egret (BIRDBRAIN POST)

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Eagle takes egret (BIRDBRAIN POST)

Date:    Wed, 26 Sep 2012 13:30:02 -0400
From:    David Hartgrove
Subject: Eagle takes egret

This morning, while standing on the observation tower at Spruce Creek Park  with a group of 10th graders, we watched a pair of Bald Eagles chase and catch a Snowy Egret. These kids had never held a pair of binoculars before, much less been bird watching. We were watching 3 Snowies and a juvenile Little Blue Heron standing about 100 yards out in the marsh and I was trying to point out the differences in the two species. An adult Bald Eagle flew over the group and made a half hearted swoop down toward the birds.

Then its partner suddenly raced in and came within a few feet of snatching one of the birds before it flew. All four birds flew in panic, three to the north, one to the south. Being isolated, he was the one the eagles went after. It was over in a 30 seconds. One of the eagles flipped almost upside down and snatched the egret out of the air. Meanwhile the kids were beside themselves with excitement. The eagle with the egret landed out of our line of vision and its partner landed in a pine tree in a spot where we could still get fairly good scope views. Needless to say the kids had plenty to talk about with their friends.

Here's a link to the park's location:  http://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/parks-recreation-and-culture/parks-and-trails/park-facilities-and-locations/ecological-nature-parks/spruce-creek-park.stml

David Hartgrove
Daytona Beach, FL