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Mar 17, 2017

Eagles among the egrets and herons

Photo: Imago / Barcroft Images
A White-tailed Sea Eagle is seen in shallow water with wading birds in Kiskunsag National Park, a Unesco biosphere reserve in Szabadszallas, Hungary.   The diet of White-tailed Sea Eagles is varied, opportunistic and seasonal.   They often prey on fish, birds and mammals but live largely as scavengers, regularly stealing food from otters and other birds including cormorants, gulls, ospreys and other raptors. Carrion is often a primary food source during winter months, with fish and various ungulates preferred, but anything from cetaceans to livestock to even dead humans.   Almost all fish found near the surface of water is a potential food source for White-tail Sea Eagles.   Commercial fisheries, sport fishing ponds and carp ponds are readily exploited when available.   Although they occasionally harass and kill some land birds, White-tails prefer targeting water-based birds as prey.   Other prey include terns, skuas, cormorants, fulmars, loons, grebes, ducks, coots, auks, gulls, geese, and even swans.   Adults, nestlings and eggs of other birds are regularly consumed. Live animals consumed have ranged in size from voles to lambs and deer calves.   White-tailed Sea Eagles seem to consider almost any creature moving or dead as a possible meal.
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