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Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

Journal of Raptor Research

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, , and
https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-09-72.1

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Abstract

The Common Loon (Gavia immer) must defend against many potential egg predators during incubation, including corvids, Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), fisher (Martes pennanti), and mink (Neovison vison) (McIntyre 1988Evers 2004McCann et al. 2005). Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been documented as predators of both adult Common Loons and their chicks (Vliestra and Paruk 1997Paruk et al. 1999Erlandson et al. 2007Piper et al. 2008). In Wisconsin, where nesting Bald Eagles are abundant (>1200 nesting pairs, >1 young/pair/year), field biologists observed four instances of eagle predation of eggs in loon nests during the period 2002–2004 (M. Meyer pers. comm.). In addition, four cases of eagle predation of incubating adult loons were inferred from evidence found at the loon nest (dozens of plucked adult loon feathers, no carcass remains) and/or loon leg, neck, and skull bones beneath two active eagle nests, including leg bones containing the bands of the nearby (<25 m) incubating adult loon. However, although loon egg predation has been associated with Bald Eagles, predation events have yet to be described in peer-reviewed literature. Here we describe a photographic observation of predation on a Common Loon egg by an immature Bald Eagle as captured by a nest surveillance video camera on Lake Umbagog, a large lake (32 km2) at Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge (UNWR) in Maine.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Bald eagle predation on common loon egg
Series title:
Journal of Raptor Research
DOI:
10.3356/JRR-09-72.1
Volume:
44
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
Raptor Research Foundation
Contributing office(s):
Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description:
2 p.
First page:
249
Last page:
251
Country:
United States
State:
Maine
Other Geospatial:
Lake Umbagog
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N