Bald Eagle Mom Chooses To Adopt - Not Eat - A Baby Hawk

June 11, 2017

Red-tailed hawks usually fear eagles in nature, competing for similar prey -- and sometimes becoming prey themselves. But in Sidney, B.C., one bald eagle is defying the usual bird politics, taking a baby hawk into her nest and under her wing.

Dr. David Bird, of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, says the female bald eagle most likely snatched the four-week old red-tailed hawk from its nest with the intention of serving it as food to her eaglets. But instead, something unbelievable occurred.

"What probably happened in this case is that when they brought this little guy back, he probably begged for food, as he would do, not even realizing the danger it was in," said Dr. Bird, who has been helping to monitor the nest.

The hawk's desperate squawks likely triggered the mother eagle's instinct to feed, rather than eat the baby bird.

The red-tailed hawk is currently sharing a nest with three eaglets, who are all twice its size.

The video below shows the mother eagle feeding the baby hawk as well as her own young.

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