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

It seems that even the animal world is not immune to family squabbles.

Video of two bald eagles in a tree this week ended up showing a glimpse of “everyday” bird life.

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

After a minute, the eagle on the right jumped off the branch, pounced on it, and tried to snatch the fish. The first eagle held steady, with the second hanging upside down for about 45 seconds.

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The camera moves and when the scene is composed, the second eagle is not there, although it quickly returns.

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

A spokesperson for the SORCO Raptor Rehab Center believes the two eagles are a mated pair.

“You can see in the video that they are not aggressive towards each other,” said Dale Belvedere, manager of SORCO. “The smallest only wants the food that the largest has.”

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

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

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

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SORCO is a non-profit society dedicated to rehabilitating injured and orphaned raptors and returning them to the wild.

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

It is normally closed to the public, but has an open house one day a year that also serves as a fundraiser. Due to COVID-19, it has been two years since SORCO held its open house, and it is more likely that 2022 will also be canceled.

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

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

For more information on SORCO, visit their website.

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