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Winter hunting skills

How do birds of prey survive the winter when many animals are hibernating and most of the awake critters are hidden underneath the snow?

Owls don't need to see their prey in order to hunt. They have such acute hearing abilities that they can hear mice and other small animals scurrying beneath the snow and while roosting up in a tree! Hawks eat birds as well as mammals, so their food is still flying around and available all winter. Eagles, like the one pictured here, also eat a variety of winter-available foods like fish, aquatic birds and carrion.

Bonus fact: This might surprise you but the eagle in the photo above is a Bald Eagle! Their iconic white head and tail don't start growing in until the bird is about 2-3 years old, and the transition doesn't completely finish until they are nearly 5! This white colouration also indicates they are fully mature and are able to start mating. The photo below shows a juvenile Bald Eagle that is a few years old and has started to grow its adult plumage

Photo courtesy of the USFWS/L.K Stevenson


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