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October in the Upper Mississippi Valley,

the fall weather is mild and eagles are free from the burdens of the nest.

Water birds, soon to depart for warmer havens, are briefly abundant.

Joining the eagles that live here year-round are bald eagle migrants flying south from Canada.

Some have flown 1,400 miles to find open water.

This surge of eagles now turns to hunting.

Bald eagles will sometimes chase mallards, but the river offers much easier prey.

Coots raft together by the thousands and these calm birds are a favorite meal.

The strong wind allows an eagle the rare chance to hover like a smaller raptor, the kite.

There's more than enough prey for every eagle, but thievery is in their nature.

As one hunter lands at a muskrat hut, other eagles immediately try to steal his prize.

This autumn bounty is a returning glimmer of the old days.

1. year-round =  throughout the year

2. mallard 野鴨

3. coot 黑鴨

4. raptor 猛禽

5. kite 鳶

6. thievery 偷竊

7. muskrat 麝鼠




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