Thursday, 13 June 2013

Golden Eagle prey
Some of the prey items below the eagle eyrie
Whenever we visit a Golden Eagle eyrie, we always search around below the nest for pieces of prey dropped from the nest, and whoever climbs to the nest also has a good rummage through the nest lining for any more pieces.

Yesterday, while at the eyrie described in the previous post, we found remains of a Red Deer calf, a Roe Deer calf, a hen Rock Ptarmigan, a Red Grouse and what seemed to be feathers from a Common Gull in a pellet.

Both the deer were new-born calves, distinguishable by the unbroken cuticles on the soles of their hooves as seen in the photograph below.

The hoof of a Red Deer calf on the left, and a Roe Deer calf on the right. Very similar, but that of the Roe is smaller. A Golden Eagle can easily lift a Roe Deer calf, although a Red Deer calf must be a bit heavy to carry very far. Hence, both calves had been dismembered before they were carried to the chick in the eyrie, which might have been several kilometres from the place they were found.

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