In California, a bald eagle kidnaps a young red-tailed hawk and keeps it as her own
In Northern California, a mother bald eagle returned to her nest with a newborn red-tailed hawk in her talons, while her anxious eaglet was waiting.
Doug Gillard, the photographer, was worried that the eaglet would eat the hawk. Rather, he observed for the following month as the bald eagle cared for the hawk as if it were it’s own.
Gillard captured the odd family interaction and sent images and videos to the Nor Cal Birding Facebook group, which is for bird watchers. Dozens of onlookers followed, curious to learn whether the hawk will make it out of the eagle’s nest.
May 20 marked the first time the young red-tailed hawk, currently referred to as Tuffy, was seen on camera. To safeguard the nest, the site has not been disclosed.
“I was shocked by the lunch that Mom carried back for Junior. Though I’m not sure that I believe it to be a young, live red-tailed hawk. How does she teach Jr. to murder and then eat? Gillard addressed the crowd in a Facebook post.
A week afterward, Gillard claimed he was shocked to find the newborn red-tailed hawk being raised by an eagle beside the eaglet.