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Hunting tactics of Peregrines and other falcons - Section: 13 Page: Paintings-8 - Peregrine prey selection and eagle interference

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Hunting tactics of Peregrines and other falcons - Chapter: Section-13 - Peregrine prey selection and eagle interference - Page: HUNTAC_0104 Image#: 0


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The American Bald Eagle is a grand example of the carnivore motto: why exert
yourself if yott can eat for free.
However, the universal principle is energy effi-
ciency. Capable of killing waterfowl up to the size of swans, the Bald Eagle is
usually content to feed on fish or even carrion. It is also quick to take advantage
of smaller raptors. On the Pacific coast of western Canada, the ubiquitous pres-
ence of Bald Eagles forces wintering Peregrines to stop hunting ducks, and to
concentrate on sandpipers that can be carried off at the approach of klepto-para-
sites. In central Alberta, eagles keep watch at stretches of river — downstream
from big cities — that stay unfrozen and where Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)
overwinter. Although they manage to catch a few ducks themselves, the eagles
wait for Gyrfalcons to bring down Mallards that fly inland to feed on grain.

Painnngs © Dick Dekker. First published in: Dekker. D. 1980. Naturalist Painter.
Western Producer Prairie Books. Saskatoon, SK Canada

OCR
Tag: ducks eagle eagles gyrfalcons mallards peregrines swans

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