Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Golden Eagle Steals Snake from Gull (!)

No, I didn't just try to come up with the most bizarre title possible for this blog. Chuck and Mary Slugg just emailed me the following:

"Had 2 adult bald eagles at the nest site at Beaver Dam. Went to Jake's Landing and had adult golden eagle stir up snow geese, go down, come up and perch for what seemed forever, take off, accost a gull in mid-air and cause it to drop a snake which the eagle snatched in mid-air and flew off with snake in talons. Spectacular." Both Beaver Dam (Beaver Swamp WMA) and Jake's Landing are on CMBO's Cape May Birding map, available as a .pdf on this web site.

If you're wondering about the snake business given that it's January, it reached 70 degrees F. in Cape May today. I haven't talked to the Sluggs and suppose it could have been an eel; regardless, how cool was that! Makes me think of the snake-eagles I hopefully will see in a few weeks while leading the NJAS tour to Tanzania - Black-chested, Brown, and Western Banded Snake-eagles are possible. . .

Speaking of eagles, mark your calendar for the Cumberland County Eagle Festival February 2. More info will be posted here shortly.

In other news, a few butterflies have been reported lately, including two Red Admirals yesterday, and an extraordinary Monarch on New Year's Day in Cape May Point. Moths collected around the lights here last night, and I'd wager that woodcock are displaying across Cape May and Cumberland Counties as I write this.

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