About a week ago, searching for any excuse not to do the work in front of me, I picked up my camera and drove to Hell Neck Road in the neighboring county.
Yes, Hell Neck Road. Because nothing says procrastination better than a trip to Hell Neck Road.
Actually, the main purpose of this trip to Procrastination involved the public landing at Harcum, but when I saw the sign for Hell Neck, I couldn't resist the urge
In spite of its exciting name, however, there was very little to photograph. Just as a wave of irritation started washing over me, I happened to glance in a recently harvested corn field and noticed an eagle hovering over a dead animal that looked like a deer (but could have been anything, especially since our raccoons and opossums grow to be the size of small ponies, especially the ones who live in my yard and eat 9-Lives cat food all night long).
Intrigued and perplexed, because I've only seen them eat fresh fish, I asked Google about eagles eating dead deer, and this site provided some information:
Raptors (predatory birds), bald eagles are at the top of the food chain and fish in both fresh and salt water. They feed on fish, small animals like ducks, coots, muskrats, turtles, rabbits, and snakes and carrion (dead animals) occasionally. Fish account for 90% of their diet; however, they will prey on whatever is available and easiest to get. It takes them about four minutes to eat one pound of fish. While catching their prey, they rarely enter the water, they snatch the fish from the surface with their talons. They also steal fish from ospreys which are smaller. Historically, ranchers and farmers shot and killed them in large numbers because they were grouped with raptors that killed chickens, lambs, and other domestic livestock.
Speaking of stealing fish from ospreys, below is a recent shot (from my fishing trip) of the Queens Creek eagle sitting in a tree that is also favored by ospreys. Except now the ospreys have packed their bags and headed south.
The eagles, having no ospreys from which to steal, evidently have taken to flying to Hell Neck Road where they eat dead deer or dead opossums or whatever happens to be lying around in a cornfield.
At least that's what I take away from all this.
So, to recap:
1. Eagles eat primarily fish and have been known to steal fish from ospreys.
2. Ospreys fly away from here in the cold weather.
3. I often dream of flying away from here in the cold weather too. Maybe next year I'll hitch a ride with an osprey, preferably one headed to Bora Bora.
4. With no ospreys flying around doing all the fishing, eagles sometimes eat dead animals--large dead animals.
5. This means my dog Buddy better not lie around too long in the back yard lest they think he was
a beached whale an afternoon snack.
6. The word "coot" is guaranteed to make me laugh.
7. After all this, I don't even know for sure that was a dead deer because I can't tell from the picture. All I know is that eagle was eating something large and dead and it sure as hellneckroad was not a fish.
8. There really was something worth photographing on Hell Neck Road.
9. Have a fantastic weekend.