Sometimes you can always tell when a raptor is in the air. The birds go quiet, or there is a series of warning calls ring across the forest. Or, the local magpies and ravens go into high gear agitation and speed across the sky in pursuit of nemesis.
The latter was the case the other morning. A local Little Eagle had been out and had collected itself a pretty fair meal, and was carrying it home tucked in its crop. See the flickr shot here.
A little while later, the ravens and magpies were on high call and in hot pursuit. The day was very windy, and it favoured the highly manoeuvrable and speedy ravens, so the poor Little Eagle copped a right pounding. The wind gave the ravens a great climbing speed and they were able to outclass the raptor. It on the other hand couldn’t get advantage as it had to keep losing height and changing direction. It’s plaintive ‘peep’ call is pretty pathetic.
For some reason, Little Eagles seem to cop it from everyone. Its diet rarely would include taking birds but it seems to get the rap from all the birds. Such is the way of life on the wing.
Also hard to get them all in frame when you’ve only got the big lens handy and the wind is blowing a gale and wrenching it out of cold old hands.
2 thoughts on “The tale of the hapless Little Eagle”
Interesting story, David. As an uninformed ‘birder’, I had this hazy idea that no other bird really troubled eagles, Little or otherwise; obviously, a wrong idea. I particularly liked the ‘me-and-my-shadow’ shot.
The poor Little Eagle never seems to get away without someone having a go at it.
They are among the least likely apparently to take birds, so I guess it just puts up with the harassment. The ravens were easily able to get a strike on it here, but of course they are the shots I missed.