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Have you ever watched the mesmerizing flight of the Bald Eagle from above?

If you live in the Wilden Skylands overlooking the lake, you probably have. These majestic birds, which are the largest and most versatile raptors in North America, understandably cause awe in many people.
The Bald Eagle has long been a spiritual symbol to the native cultures by conveying power and honour. They can eat a wide variety depending on what is available. Their main diet is fish and water birds, especially the American Coot, which is why they are found living close to water. They are superb hunters with sharp eyes, and if need be, they will hunt small mammals such as rabbits and muskrats. In contrast to the Great Horned Owl, Bald Eagles’ tendency is not to hunt pets. However, they are certainly not above scavenging, eating carrion, and stealing fish from other raptors, especially the hardworking Osprey.
Bald eagles are fairly easy to identify with their white fanned shaped tail, and white head feathers that sharply contrast with their chocolate brown plumage. Interestingly, they can float on water using their wings to ‘row’ if they cannot quite touch the bottom of the stream with their feet.
Even though Bald Eagles appear stern and intense they can have a playful side. They have been observed playing with plastic bottles and throwing sticks in mid air to one another.
Moreover, Bald Eagles mate for life, and renew their bonds by adding sticks to their tree nests. One nest was observed to be used for 34 years, which was constructed of weaved sticks and softer material stuffed into the gaps. Eventually, the tree toppled over along with the 4000 pound (2 metric tonnes) nest. Can you imagine a nest that weighs that much? This grand bird is known to live up to 38 years old in the wild.
Next time you look up and see effortless soaring and flashes of white, it is likely the Bald Eagle, ever on duty and ever watching.
Written by Flora McLeod