Bald eagles are big, powerful, and so plentiful along the East Coast Trail that you’ll likely see a few of them on every hike.
I remember one snowy morning at the Cobbler when I saw 5 of them circling overhead. The subadults among the group were more focused on playing than anything else, but one adult was looking for food and found it too:
What you can see locked in this eagle’s talons is a dovekie, a friendly winter visitor that sort of looks like a little penguin. Birds like these are easy prey for adult eagles, as they can just swoop down and pluck them from the waves, in what seems like a gruesome fate for such an adorable little bird.
Eagles will usually devour these small snacks right on the cliffs, but they can do it in the top of a tree too. I’ve run into quite a few eagle leftovers on my hikes, just dropped on the trail when they’re picked clean…