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Unlikely Nestmates

News & Events

Unlikely Nestmates

(by Chris Martin)

Time to check in once again on the unusual situation at a Bald Eagle nest located on Bow Lake. On June 3, a downy Red-tailed Hawk chick suddenly appeared in the local eagle nest. Raptor expert Iain MacLeod, Executive Director at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, says a hawk chick surviving in an eagle nest is a very rare occurrence. He speculates that this baby hawk likely came into the nest as a food item in the talons of the adult male eagle, but that having survived that adventure, began food-begging which triggered the adult female eagle’s maternal drive to feed young.

The most recent video provided by local wildlife-watcher Cheryl Mrozienski shows the now-huge eaglet and the much smaller Red-tailed Hawk chick sitting side-by-side in the nest and seeming to be getting along quite well together. Red-tails take much less time to reach fledging age, so in a sense the hawk is catching up. We’ll have to see who leaves the nest first, and whether this young red-tail develops a taste for fish!

Watch the most recent nest video.

Photo and video: Bow Lake hawk and eagle chicks, June 2021, by Cheryl Mrozienski.