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Squabble over food shows slice of ‘everyday life’ of eagles: SORCO

Click to play video: 'Squabble over food shows slice of ‘everyday life’ of eagles' Squabble over food shows slice of ‘everyday life’ of eagles
Video of two bald eagles in a tree this week wound up showing a glimpse of “everyday” bird life – Dec 18, 2021

It seems even the animal world isn’t immune to family squabbles.

Video of two bald eagles in a tree this week wound up showing a glimpse of “everyday” birdlife.

Taken Friday morning in Summerland, at Kinsmen Park beside Okanagan Lake, the video shows the two eagles in a tree, chattering with another, with one holding what appears to be a fish in its talons.

After a minute, the eagle to the right hopped off the branch, swooped over and tried wrangling the fish away. The first eagle held firm, with the second eagle hanging upside down for around 45 seconds.

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The camera is moved, and by the time the scene is composed, the second eagle isn’t there, though it quickly returns.

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The camera is later zoomed out, where a third eagle, believed to be a juvenile, can be seen sitting on a higher branch in the tree.

A spokesperson with the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre believes the two eagles are a mated pair.

“You can see in the video that they’re not aggressive with each other,” said Dale Belvedere, SORCO manager. “The smaller one just wants the food that the larger one is holding.”

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Belvedere believes the juvenile eagle is likely the pair’s offspring, and that the second eagle may have wanted to share the fish with the juvenile.

“This is normal behaviour in eagles,” said Belvedere. “It’s just rare that people actually see the everyday life of eagles.”

Belvedere noted that eagles will fight other eagles for mates or territorial reasons. Seeing a squabble over food is not abnormal, though it could be viewed as such because most people “don’t see the daily life of an eagle.”

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SORCO is a non-profit society that is dedicated to rehabilitating injured and orphaned birds of prey, and releasing them back into the wild.

SORCO services the Okanagan from Armstrong in the north to Osoyoos in the south.

It’s normally closed to the public, but does hold an open house one day a year that also acts as a fundraiser. Due to COVID-19, it’s been two years since SORCO has held its open-door day — with 2022 most likely to be cancelled as well.

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“We rely on public donations and we certainly do miss that day,” said Belvedere, noting SORCO operates year-round to rescue raptors.

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Belvedere said if you do see an injured raptor, don’t touch it. Call them at 250-498-4251.

For more about SORCO, visit their website.

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