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Greenwolf103
01-01-2009, 08:47 PM
My oldest and I were reading a book about eagles yesterday. It said in the book that the oldest eaglet gets to eat first. She asked why and I had no answer. Can anybody in the know clue me in? Is there some kind of rituals or family standards eagle families follow?

I thought the part about the oldest eaglet sometimes eating the youngest if food is scarce was just mortifying. :Jaw:

NeuroFizz
01-01-2009, 08:53 PM
There are all kinds of research reports on sibling competition before fledging, including species in which siblicide is very common--the largest chick literally kicks it's sibs out of the nest. Only the strongest survive in these cases. It's kind of like the runt phenomenon in some mammals that give birth to litters. It's a tough life out there for most animals.

Worse yet, some birds are parasitic--they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and leave the rearing to the unaware surrogates (quite an energy savings). Cuckoos and cowbirds do this, as so some African birds (weavers and some other kind of bird). Some of these parasites even kick out the parents' eggs or young chicks before they leave their own eggs. That's nasty, but well documented.

Susie
01-01-2009, 09:00 PM
Don't know much 'bout eagles, Dawn, but wishin' you and yours a very Happy, healthy New Year and Neuro, too! ((((((((HUGS)))))))

williemeikle
01-01-2009, 09:01 PM
My oldest and I were reading a book about eagles yesterday. It said in the book that the oldest eaglet gets to eat first. She asked why and I had no answer. Can anybody in the know clue me in? Is there some kind of rituals or family standards eagle families follow?

I thought the part about the oldest eaglet sometimes eating the youngest if food is scarce was just mortifying. :Jaw:

It's not that the oldest "gets" to eat first, it's that the oldest is usually the strongest, and forces itself to the front at feeding time. I've spent a lot of time watching birds of prey, and in most cases it's survival of the fittest.

The bigger and stronger chicks are usually first fed, (whether they're oldest or not) so getting even bigger and even stronger. In good years there will be enough food to go round and the weaker ones get fed. But when the bad years come round, the stronger chick will do whatever it takes to survive, including eating its siblings, or, more commonly, just ensuring they starve by getting all the food that is available.

Greenwolf103
01-01-2009, 09:02 PM
NeuroFizz: Yes, it is a tough world for animals. . We used to have dog that gave birth to a litter of pups and one of them was....not right. The mother ignored this one and pretty much "pushed" it aside.

Are there links to the research?

EDIT: Cross-posted with Willie. Thanks, Susie! :) Same to you.

Shadow_Ferret
01-01-2009, 09:07 PM
Because, unlike humans, eagles respect their elders.

*shakes his cane*

Repect your elders!

williemeikle
01-01-2009, 09:07 PM
NeuroFizz: Yes, it is a tough world for animals. . We used to have dog that gave birth to a litter of pups and one of them was....not right. The mother ignored this one and pretty much "pushed" it aside.

Are there links to the research?

EDIT: Cross-posted with Willie. Thanks, Susie! :) Same to you.

You might find this useful:

http://www.friendsofblackwater.org/eagle_cam_blog07/archives/2007/03/03/index.html

NeuroFizz
01-01-2009, 09:12 PM
NeuroFizz: Yes, it is a tough world for animals. . We used to have dog that gave birth to a litter of pups and one of them was....not right. The mother ignored this one and pretty much "pushed" it aside.

Are there links to the research?

EDIT: Cross-posted with Willie. Thanks, Susie! Same to you.
I hope this link comes through:

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7458.html

In any event, if you want to get to original research (books or articles) go to GoogleScholar and do a search*. I did a quick one on cowbirds and this was one on the list.

*In most cases you won't be able to access the full articles but there is almost always an abstract that summarizes each research paper.

robeiae
01-01-2009, 09:15 PM
A question about eagles

There really aren't any "bald" ones. Some are called that because the feathers on their heads are white and they kinda look bald...

Shadow_Ferret
01-01-2009, 09:17 PM
And I heard if you stare at them too long they get their roadies to beat the crap out of you.

NeuroFizz
01-01-2009, 09:20 PM
And I heard if you stare at them too long they get their roadies to beat the crap out of you.
Are those ones still producing eaglets? (Blue Pill rockers)

Greenwolf103
01-01-2009, 09:32 PM
Thanks so much for the links! :)


And I heard if you stare at them too long they get their roadies to beat the crap out of you.


:ROFL:

alleycat
01-01-2009, 09:39 PM
The PBS Nature series recently had a show about eagles. Part of it dealt with one eaglet trying to eliminate his sibling (I don't remember whether he was the oldest, or the most developed). You can watch Nature segments online.

brad_b
01-02-2009, 01:07 AM
A feral cat gave birth to a litter in one of my work trucks. I found one on the ground beside the truck and put it back while the mother was eating some food I left out. Found the kitten there again later so I brought it inside and tried hand-feeding; I've raised kittens like that before and they turned out okay. She went downhill though, the mother knew something was wrong with it. She died while laying on my chest one Sunday morning; still makes me sad to think of it, but she didn't die alone. The animal kingdom can be harsh.