A bald eagle couple in Sidney, Vancouver Island – Canada is raising three chicks of its own but somehow is also feeding and caring for a young red-tailed hawk.
Normally bald eagles and red tailed hawks are mortal enemies and how the red-tailed hawklet got into the eagles-nest still remains a mystery.
Especially during nesting season, red tailed hawks display intense aggression towards neighbouring bald eagles.
According to David Bird with the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, the adult eagle’s hormonal drive to kill and eat the baby hawk was overridden by the hormonal drive to feed and raise it.
But Bird says the hawk is half the age and one quarter the size of its adopted siblings and must survive another two weeks before it can fly away from nest mates that are likely to devour it if they get hungry.
“They’re going to look at this little hawk and say ‘I’m bigger than you and you are weaker than me and I’m just going to squeeze the life out of you and start eating you,’ ” says Bird.
But if all goes well, the little hawk will likely attempt to make its first flight in the next two weeks or so, and once it’s soaring on its own, it should have a fighting chance.
Here’s a video of the mother eagle feeding the hawk as well as her own young.