Did Mama Raccoon take eaglet for revenge?

25 May 2022

I received a very interesting letter from EJ just a few minutes ago. What they wrote is something worth considering. I will leave the answer to the question up to you.

It is not often that we see what happens in the wild. If you were a mother with a nest of babies and another mother took one to feed their babies, how would you feel?

As it happens there is a video showing the female eagle at the Ft St Vrain nest delivering a live baby raccoon to the nest. She then feeds it to the two juveniles.

As it happens, it was only two days later that Mother Raccoon came up to the Eagle. Was she looking for her baby? Did she know what had happened to it? When Mother Raccoon got up to the eagle nest, she removed one of the eaglets off the nest. Its feathers were found later by a ranger. Can we expect that Mother Raccoon fed the eaglet to her remaining offspring?

Animal behaviour is very interesting. We do not often see events like this happening on streaming cams but I wonder how common they are in the wild?

Here is the video of that event:

It is just something to think about. I thank EJ for spotting that video about the baby raccoon otherwise, I would not have made the connection.

Cheers everyone! See you soon.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann! This is very interesting indeed! I also wonder if she thought the bigger eaglet was her baby raccoon? Can raccoons see good at night? Just a thought or maybe revenge !
    So sad for both babies.

    1. I must check and see. I would presume that she would recognize her own baby – or be able to smell it. It was so hard to imagine because it is rare – you simply do not hear about these things but, of course, in the wild who would know. But here and the closeness of the Eagle taking the baby really makes me wonder. The nests could be very close together. There was an animal that had its nest in the big Sea Eagle nest. I do not remember but they would come out at night and run all over the tree. They never bothered the eaglets just frightened them as they gathered leaves. It is clearer now when you take the two events together somehow.

  2. Meme says:

    I definitely think this was revenge. Both videos are horrific if you’re an animal lover and a reminder that nature is hard and brutal. When adult racoon first climbed up to nest OT oulls something towards it from the nest. I thought it was looking for food and pulled a dead fish over or something. This was before I saw other video of baby raccoon and now I believe it was the remains of the baby. So I believe it was mama looking for her baby and am convinced that when she found the dead remains she took the eaglet out of revenge.

    1. The birds – to me anyway – carry emotions not unlike humans. It was a tragedy for both mothers. Until EJ found that earlier video, sympathies were for the eaglet and then when you get the whole picture. It is hard out there and often hard to find prey when the weather is so variable. Thank you so much for writing in Meme. It is nice to hear from you!

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