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Monday, February 28, 2011

Bald eagles of Madison County

It seems as the winter drags on, more and more Bald eagles are showing up here in Madison County.  Most of them are mature with only two immature ones that I have seen.  On cold mornings the eagles can be found roosting near open water or along the road near feed yards.  They feed on dead animals and some times ducks they are able to pick off.  One of the most important food source is the after-birth from lambing and calfing areas.

Many of the eagles do not roost in Madison at night.  They will fly west to Camas National Wildlife Refuge about 60 miles away where 25 to 45 eagles roost together.  There they communicate with each other and when one returns with a full crop, many will follow it to their feeding area the next day.  That is why on some days you will see no eagles and then many will show up a few days later.

Here ar a few pictures of the eagles of Madison County:

Two immature Bald eagles feeding on a duck they harvested and carried up into a tree in the Burton area.

A mature leaving its roost in the Hibbard area on the bank of the South Fork of the Teton River.

A mature eagle on a very cold morning roosting over a calving area in the Archer/Sunnydale area.

Two matures watching as a flock of geese and ducks feed in a field.

One of the last two leaves the roost to attack the ducks and geese unsuccessfully.

What beautiful birds - our national bird.


troutbirder said...

Neat pics. They are such magnificent birds. Here in Bluff Country (sixty miles from the Big River) the eagles are nesting and wintering in the last 30 years for the first time in the historical record. I tend to think, in this season, they replace the turkey vultures

dAwN said...

Wonderful pics of a beautiful bird!