Imagine a young baby bird, just a small hatchling, waiting in the nest for its mom to come back with a meal. Suddenly, out of nowhere a huge bird swoops in and plucks it out of the safety of its home. The baby stays gripped in the sharp claws of the humongous bird flying to an unknown destination.
The bird lands on its nest. She has babies to feed and this baby will be their next meal. Then something happens, the soon to be "meal" opens its mouth and lets out a squawk. It wants to eat too!
The mother bird looks curiously at the little helpless bird. Unsure of what to do, she does what many mothers would do. She feeds the baby, the baby that was meant to be her offspring's next meal.
While this may not seem unusual, this case was really quite unique. The large bird was a bald eagle and the young bird that it brought back to its nest, most likely as prey, was a baby red-tailed hawk. Experts surmise that one of the parents brought it back as either an egg or a newly hatched baby.
Even though, both birds are in the raptor family they do not get along. In fact, you would even say that they are natural born enemies. Both birds are carnivores, meaning that they eat meat and being birds of prey they hunt other animals for food. They also have distinctive mighty claws that grasp their prey and beaks designed to tear flesh.
This really was a remarkable and surprising act on the part of the eagles! They adopted the red-tailed hawk and continued to feed it and treat it as one of their own eaglets. It's not as if they didn't already have enough mouths to feed either. Eagles typically only hatch two eggs, but sometimes like this case they hatch three. Eagle chicks are much larger than hawk chicks and thus require more nourishment.
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