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Canada v. United States: Loon stabs eagle through heart



Loon fights eaglesPicture Copyright
Jon Winslow / Department of Inland Fisheries

Caption

It has been known to lean defending their chickens against eagles

As with global affairs, nature has its spy order.

And in a contest between the bald eagle, America̵

7;s national bird, and a common lone found on Canada’s dollar coins, few would bet on the latter to come out victorious.

But sometimes the underdog comes out on top, as revealed when an eagle was found dead in the water near a dead paycheck in a Maine lake.

A necropsy revealed he was killed by a stab in the heart from a loons beak.

Baby pockets are common prey for eagles who are scared hunters.

Bald eagles are protected in the United States, and typically their remains are sent directly to the National Eagle Repository in Colorado.

It is a crime in the United States to kill an eagle, possess one, or disturb its remains, except for special exceptions, such as the use of Native American ceremonies.

Picture Copyright
Nat Woodruff / Department of Inland Fisheries

Caption

Nat Woodruff discovered the eagle dead in a lake

But after seeing a dead baby lean chicken so close to the carcass, scientists began to wonder if the eagle could have been killed by an aggravated mother lice in an avian equivalent of David and Goliath.

So they sent the eagle not to the eagle repository, but to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, where it could be examined by a payroll specialist.

Picture Copyright
Nat Woodruff / Department of Inland Fisheries

Caption

Maine guard Neal Wykes inspects the dead bald eagle

There, a pathologist found that the eagle died by a quick stab in the heart from what appeared to be a lumbar spine, and the chicken had eagle thorn marks, indicating that it had been captured by an eagle.

A neighbor nearby also told wild investigators she heard a “hole abaloo” the night before.

Wildlife biologist Danielle D’Auria, who works for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, shared the news on the department’s blog, noting that it is the first confirmed case of a lone killing an eagle.

“Who would think a loon would have a chance against such a strong predator?” she wrote.


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