COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A brutal act of nature was caught on camera in Colorado, when a raccoon showed up at a well-known eagle nest in search of dinner.
Caught on camera by a live-streamed webcam that has been focused on the same Platteville eagle nest since 2003, the raccoon appeared and snatched one of two eaglets in the nest, with the carcass of the young eagle later found by officials.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife called the predation of the eaglet an uncommon occurrence, though they also stated that if predation by a mammal occurs on Colorado's Front Range, it's likely to involve a raccoon. Other predators that may seek out eaglets include magpies, crows and raptors.
The eaglet that was taken by the raccoon was the larger of the two in the nest, aged at six weeks. The other eaglet is still alive. Eagles grow to their adult size within about 10 weeks, leaving the nest a couple weeks after that.
The camera that broadcasts happenings at this Platteville nest, located at Fort St. Vrain, is powered by Xcel Energy. Since it was turned on in 2003, it has captured 46 eaglet hatchings, though recorded activity at the nest dates back to 1993.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reports that this nest is one of 246 occupied nests around Colorado, which is up from the 82 that were reported in 2016. This massive difference may be impacted by varied surveying and reporting efforts.
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This story was originally published May 26, 2022 5:30 AM.