On tonight’s menu: fresh fish! Wildlife rehabilitator Suzy picked up a load of live fish today from DGIF’s Montebello State Fish Hatchery for the three eaglets – and some for their next-door neighbors as well.
The WCV typically provides live prey testing for all raptors prior to release – though offering live fish to eagles can sometimes be tricky. The most difficult part of “fish school” is finding ones large enough for the eagles to hunt – while keeping the fish alive! Since trout are more sensitive to water conditions, they typically don’t survive very long in the water tubs in the raptor enclosures. However, when able, the staff do like to provide as much practice as possible. Fortunately, eagles eat a lot of carrion as well – which doesn't require any hunting skills.
Eight fish will be served to the NBG eagles this afternoon – four in each tub. The fish look a bit weary after the journey already -- so won't be the most active fish to catch, but again, the eaglets will get the general idea of where fish come from and how they should catch them.