Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Mexican Eagle

The Crested Caracara is a bird that is often seen with vultures as it frequently dines on carrion. I looked out to see one along the pond one day.
Whistling Ducks flying around.
I thought he might have found the opossum that the dogs had killed previously, but I hadn't seen any other vultures nearby.
 I shot these photos with the telephoto from inside the house, just recording his presence.
It wasn't until I reviewed the photos on the computer that I realized he had (I'm assuming) killed a Whistling Duck. Snapping turtles have injured and tried to drown them and both snapping turtles and hawks have taken young Whistlers, but this is the first time I'd seen an adult taken by a predator.

I guess he was living up to his nickname, "The Mexican Eagle." The Caracara may eat carrion, but he is still a fierce hunter, too.

The Whistlers watch nervously.

 
He began dragging his kill away from the pond's edge.
 He stowed the carcass under the tree for safe-keeping.
The next day, I only found feathers. It is nature's way.

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

141 comments:

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

nature's way is sometimes hard to watch through the eyes of an emoting being. yet they kill and eat as needed for sustenance. what is our reason?

Stewart M said...

What a great bird - would love to see one.

You get some really remarkable birds around your dam.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

magnoliasntea said...

"It wasn't until I reviewed the photos on the computer that I realized he had (I'm assuming) killed a Whistling Duck."
Poor Whistler was dinner...
That reminds me of the time, years ago when we first started keeping chickens, that I was watching a red-tailed hawk and thinking how nifty they are then I noticed it's mate on the ground rippin' one of my laying hens to shreds. Just to be a stinker my husband called our wildlife management office to tell them about it. Heh, the ranger on the phone told him, "Hawks don't eat chickens, Sir."
My husband replied, "Well, you need to let the one on top of my wife's best layer know that." rofl
Great photos of the Mexican Eagle!!

Mari said...

Wow, way of nature. That's inpressive. I wonder why the whistlers stayed and watch and hadn't flown away from the scene. They could be next.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Great shots of Caracara.. Congrats..

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Nature's way isn't always easy. He is a beautiful bird. blessings ~ tanna

Marit Sønstebø said...

So sad about the young whistler. But it is natures way, even we don't like it.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Pretty bold of the other Whistlers to stand there and watch.

"He won't be hungry after he's done with poor old Harry."
~

Buttons Thoughts said...

Morning Tex yes Natures way can be hard to watch but you captured it perfectly. Hug B

eileeninmd said...

Wow, awesome sight to see and great series of Caracara photos.. They are cool birds. If I were a whistling duck, I would move away from there..I can't watch!!!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

poor cousin Moe :(

Sandra said...

he sure does have long legs, i would not want him hunting me..

Dicky Bird said...

Yes, it is nature's way - I've never seen a Mexican Eagle. Well, he probably enjoyed that "corn" fed duck...LOL

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Another wonderful sighting at the RunARound Ranch. Beautiful bird for sure , just make sure he doesn't decide to hang around and harass any more of our whistlers!!

A Quiet Corner said...

An awesome series, T....he is magnificent!...:)JP

Lynn said...

Well, he is a pretty bird:@)

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oh my goodness, he is an absolutely amazing capture. Wow!

Janey and Co. said...

Cruel as it seems....you are correct. It is nature's way. Great shots.

bas van Es said...

Ja zo gaar het maar je hebt het wel mooi vastgelegd.

Chandra Eswaran said...

Good Morning, Theresa - Beautiful Mexican Eagle! It's snowing here and some of it has stuck.
Have a Beautiful Day!
Peace :)

DJan said...

They look very different from the bald eagles we see around here. And yes, it's a cruel world out there. My poor whistling duck, thank goodness there are so many others. Sigh. Even though it's nature's way doesn't mean I have to like it.

William Kendall said...

Quite a formidable bird.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Oh I know it's all part of the circle of life but still hate to see a pretty bird like that taken. Look at those standing by, thinking, are we next!!
You captured some great shots even those that are hard at times.
That's nature!!
Hugs, CM

Bethany Carson said...

Poor whistler! I guess they live a sometimes dangerous life! The "Mexican Eagle" is quite an impressive vulture.

holdingmoments said...

Fascinating series of shots Theresa, depicting nature. Excellent.

Small City Scenes said...

Nature's way it is true and a perfect opportunity for you to get some wonderful shots. Interesting bird. MB

Kate said...

Nature's way can be pretty brutal sometimes!

Nancy said...

Gorgeous colors - how lucky to spot him. xo

Julia said...

I'm glad the Whistlers outnumbers the Mexican Eagles.
Poor Whistler... Mother Nature can be so cruel but that's the way it is. Cats will kill birds even when they are not hungry. It's their nature. People can be cruel too.

Stay warm and have a nice week.
Hugs,
JB

Molly TheWally said...

It is indeed nature's way and no wonder the Whistlers were nervous. Great shots. Have a terrific Tuesday.
Best wishes Molly

EG CameraGirl said...

Seems a bit odd to me that the remaining whistlers are still hanging around!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

So sad! The poor whistler met an untimely end. But his pals need to scoot!

messymimi said...

It's sad, but it's also right somehow. Everything has to eat, and not everything eats plants.

Giga said...

I watch as one animal eats another. It's hard, that's the nature. Regards.

ellen abbott said...

it's a closed system. the only thing we have to eat is each other. gorgeous bird.

Andrea Priebe said...

He is a raptor and a very big one. I have only read about them and seen pictures, but didn't realize their size. It is clear when you see him next to the whistler he is nothing to mess with. I know it makes you sad to see it as I am when my Coopers Hawk takes out one of my song birds, but I just remind myself that they take the weak and/or sick so they are protecting the strength of the line ... like you said, Nature's way.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Nancy Chan said...

So sorry for the whistler. The other whistlers know that they are safe for the time being.

Andy Wilson said...

Whoa....

Evelyn S. said...

I hadn't seen (or heard of) a Mexican Eagle before this post! A ferocious looking bird, doing what he does!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what an amazing bird!

Sally said...

Well, there went my morning appetite (which is a good thing). :)

Judy said...

I know it's natures way but I'm still sad :(
I've not seen this bird before.

don said...

An interesting capture of life-in-the-wild. I'd have to say this bird has prettier feathers and looks more attractive than a vulture. I didn't like finding out he had killed one of the Whistlers.

Leovi - La Fotografía Efectista Abstracta said...

I love these shots, majestic !

Paula said...

Aww poor Whistler but we country people know it happens.

Knipsa Passtscho said...

Oh the poor duck!
But at least he looks much nicer than the vultures ;)
Wonder who ate it - he himself or someone else?
Have a fine day
【ツ】Knipsa

Karen S. said...

Yes, it's a part of nature, especially out in the wild, but still it's very sad to see the poor loss of any Whistler, and then it appears his own family (?) are looking on perhaps in disbelief? Be very wary out there little Whistlers.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

I recall prior posts on injured Whistlers, I'm surprised they are that close.

thirtysevenandcounting said...

:-(
We've watched Cooper's Hawks dining on birds in our back yard.

Great captures of nature as it happens.

Lindy

Irma said...

Nice report of the raptor that eating a whistler on.
It is sad for Whistler, but this is also nature.
We usually find it not so nice.
Best regards, Irma

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Well there are enough ducks at the pond that if one chooses to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the others, it will not diminish the herd anything noticeable.

DIMI said...

Oh,no!So sad about the young whistler Tex!I'm not feeling well now.Feel sorry for those ducks.
Dimi...

Farm Girl said...

What are you going to do since he has found easy eating? That would really get to me to see him pick of whistling ducks.

Frank said...

I've only ever had one sighting of this species in the wild. Thanks for sharing your wonderful sequence of 'Nature in the raw'.

Adam Jones said...

What a beast of a bird. I'd love to see one of those.

Stephen Hayes said...

Sad, but like you say it's nature's way and everything has to eat.

Mary Cromer said...

Nature can be very harsh and one can only hope for a quick death, if nothing else~

Laura. M said...

It's life, Teresa. They kill to survive ... Man kills for harm.
Great series !!

Jo's World said...

Hi Tex!

Seems like this Mexican Eagle visited you before (or one of his family!) I do remember reading Caracara before. Get the ducks together and suggest an army to them. Maybe they could whip him!

Cheers and hugs from Jo and the Petz

joeh said...

One big nasty beauty!

Karen said...

Such an awesome looking bird! How cool to have seen it.

Sharon Wagner said...

I've never seen one before. Thanks for sharing.

Sylvia K said...

An amazing bird! I've never seen one before either!!

Barb Brookbank said...

Incredible captures! What a great visual story of nature in action (and such a fabulous bird to see - I've never heard of it).

Debbie said...

the circle of life but so very sad!!!

and you used your camera, YeaH!!!!!!

Findlay Wilde said...

I feel a bit sorry for the other ducks having to watch, but they don't look too scared being so close.

Georgette Sullins said...

Rick caught a camera shot of the Mexican Caracara about a month ago. They are impressive and as Wm. mentioned above, formidable. Amazing sequence of photos you took that tell quite a story.

Marissa said...

What an amazing bird!
I would love to spot one.
Great shot too.

barbara l. hale said...

It is nature's way, but it's sad to lose a precious Whistler. The Caracara looks like an interesting bird. It's hard to begrudge any being a hard earned meal.

Country Gal said...

Oh WOW ! Nice captures , I have never seen one let a lone heard of a Mexican Eagle ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

Country Gal said...

Oh it is a tropical falcon version of a vulture, the Crested Caracara reaches the United States only in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. It is a bird of open country, where it often is seen at carrion with vultures cool !

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

Bill has seen these in Texas. They are always hunting or eating ehen he sees them. I am very impressed by them.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

Bill has seen these in Texas. They are always hunting or eating ehen he sees them. I am very impressed by them.

Primitive Stars said...

Wow, what pictures you captured, kinda sad but natures way.Blessings Francine.

Ms. A said...

First time I ever heard of these was when Michael mentioned them. Don't think I've ever seen one, but Michael gets out in the wild a lot more than I ever have.

Bob Bushell said...

The Caracara is so beautiful, even when it has killed one of Whistlers. 'It is nature's way', he quotes.

nookworm said...

The chain of life and death goes on... eat or be eaten it seems. Very impressive series of the event should teach humans - nature rules, always. The Caracara is doing what Caracaras do.

nookworm said...
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nookworm said...
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RedPat said...

Sad. ;-(

The Queen Jester said...

I remember the first time I saw one of these birds when we were in southern Texas. It seemed eerie to watch him dine while the others were sitting on a branch watching.

Maggid said...

sigh . . . .

Anvilcloud said...

I hope it wasn't too distressing for you, but it seems like you handled it well.

Gosia k said...

what a greedy and dangerous creature

Robin Lamb said...

T, nice series of shots!

Linda Kay said...

Reality in nature. I thought it interesting that a couple of ducks were just standing by and watching the whole ordeal, probably thinking they were pretty lucky!

Mama Zen said...

Fantastic series of shots!

Margaret Adamson said...

Yes that is nature but one of your Whistling duck nevertheless a great series of shots

Miss Val's Creations said...

Having never seen a vulture in person before, I'm loving this grouping of photos!

Adam Tilt said...

Nooo not one of the Whistler's! Great bird though and a nice garden record.

Birdman said...

Survival of the fittest rules here.

Chris Rohrer said...

This is an epic series of photos! Very very cool! I can't believe how lucky you were to capture that moment. Two Mexican species together! This is very unique.

Barb said...

The Caracara has beautiful markings (much prettier than vultures). I can see why the Whistlers are flying and looking kinda dazed.

Gail said...

I have never seen this bird.

Our New World Buzzards are equally predatory/carrion birds. Have had much trouble with them attacking calves.

I guess this one was hungry. It is beautiful. In a couple of shots, it looks like it's wearing sunglasses!

Our photos said...

Yes, I agree. That's nature. But it's a nice series !

Ron said...

That's an interesting bird. In the second shot he almost looks like big rooster.

Mary Kirkland said...

Nature can be beautiful and sad but it's how things live and die in nature.

Susan said...

I know it's natures way, but dang that big meany!

bailey-road.com said...

The Caracara is a powerful looking bird. I hope the little Whistler didn't know what hit him.

Lois said...

Another bird I am just now learning about. I know it's nature's way and all, but still hard to see. I can't believe those other whistlers are just standing around watching.

Terry and Linda said...

The ducks were watching...nature...sure is tough at times.

Linda ♪♫❤
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
https://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/sherlock-boomer

Carletta said...

He is certainly a majestic bird. All have to eat and nature must take it's course.
I want to tell those little whistlers sitting there watching to fly whistlers, fly!! :)

Brian King said...

Oh, how cool! Such a majestic looking bird! Congratulations on getting those photos!

Munir said...

I was holding my breath until I read that only feathers were found. Sad for one, food for for the other.

Karen Schurr said...

What a remarkable bird. Nice capture.

1st Man said...

I got some great pics a couple of weeks ago of a Mexican Eagle (and thanks to you, I knew the name,ha). It's a beautiful bird for sure. And great pics you have, thanks!!

mick said...

Great photos. That pond of yours brings in an amazing amount of different birds and creatures.

DeniseinVA said...

I have only ever seen those birds once, the last time we were in Florida. I didn't realize they were birds of prey in the strict sense of the word, but don't really know much about their habits. This has been very enlightening.

sweetdaysundertheoaks.com said...

Some great pictures Tex, but it makes me sad.

Michelle said...

I am always impressed at the variety of wildlife you photograph. While I have read about this bird, I haven't witnessed one in action. Pretty cool.

Randy said...

Poor little duck.

Stephanie said...

I don't like what nature does sometimes but it happens. Sorry for the Whistler losing its life. I am wondering if the other Whistlers left after that incident. Great shots!

Justin Carfagnini said...

Wow! This is extremely interesting! Great pictures and story!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Theresa,
Indeed, that is nature's way... however scary for the other whistling ducks around!
Great photos though; made in a hurry for catching this.
Hugs,
Mariette

Felicia said...

He is beautiful and yes...sad but it is as you say.

KB Bear said...

He's a fierce hunter. It does make me sad to see one of the sweet Whistlers killed but he needs to eat. Thanks for a fascinating series of photos.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I know it is nature's way, but it's hard to see. You got some great captures from your house!

Rose said...

I think he would make me nervous, too. I know it is nature's way, but don't you just wish we could all be herbivores.

Indrani said...

Wow! that is one drama! Very well captured sequence!!!

Paul said...

Nice series of pictures! I've never even heard of a Crested Caracara before, Too bad about the Whistler being it's dinner...

Rita said...

Circle of life and all that. Bet the whistlers keep closer watch on the sky from now on. ;)

Kerri Farley said...

Excellent behavioral captures!

Brk Trt said...

An awesome series of photos.
Your right "it is natures way"

Midmarsh John said...

I was surprised to see how close the watching Whistlers seemed to be. Here when a bird of pray arrives all other birds disappear for ages.

Breathtaking said...

You did well to capture the Mexican Eagle. It's a good series of shots, but I hope he doesn't stay around.

Magia da Inês said...

هჱ⊱
Aqui temos um gavião chamado "Carcará" bem parecido com esse. Sua dieta normal é cobras mas, como vive em clima árido também come carniça e o que encontrar.

Ótima quarta-feira!
Beijinhos do Brasil.

ه°·✿✿

Gert said...

Theresa.. Yes, it is natures way, but sad to see it happen, especially to the birds we love and enjoy watching. Good photos however.

Hilary said...

I think the only ones who have some trouble reconciling what Nature does is we humans. And the mother of young. It's a beautiful bird though and whether you knew it or not at the time, you captured some fine action.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Wonderful captures. Fascinating bird, and the first I've ever seen (even a photo of). Poor, poor Whistler!

Helma said...

Wow what a great and mighty bird of prey is the Mexican eagle !!!! That you saw it as seemed very unique. Too bad that he eats a duck but that's just nature. Wonderful that you could fix this!

Wally Jones said...

I just returned from driving a couple of hours to see a Crested Caracara and you have them in your YARD!! No fair!!

Seriously, one of my favorite birds. Thank you for sharing yours today!

Fjällripan said...

Wwhat a great visitor at your pond! and great captures! Natures way as you say...

Kovács Miklós said...

Another nice bird. So lucky place for such people who loves birds :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Yep. Our Eagles usually dine on fish but sometimes they bring egrets to the nest. They have to teach the baby how to eat everything. Life is hard!

CountryMouse said...

It is part of nature. An interesting chance to photograph it.

Michael Manning said...

A tough part of nature, I was amazed that the young whistlers stood by.

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Theresa; What a nature's story (or the way it happens) you showed us! The Crested Caracara looks cool and handsome. But the scene of other Whistlers watching it made my eyes a bit wet (haha, maybe I was a bit melancholic).

Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

Marie said...

What an exciting sighting, Theresa! I would love to see one! I'm sure the Whistlers weren't happy to have him around, but as you say, he kill is "nature's way."

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...

Great shots! It is sad, but necessary. As you said - "natures way".

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That is so sad, breaks my heart....

pattisjarrett said...

What an amazing sight. Not one we hope to see often, but WOW.

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