Eagles don’t need handout

Eagles are majestic birds, and seeing them up close is a wonderful experience. The opportunity to experience their power, capture their beauty on camera or just enjoy them is a special event.

But creating that opportunity by feeding eagles, or any wildlife, puts the creatures we revere at risk.

It is not illegal to feed eagles because they are birds. But that doesn’t mean feeding them is good for eagles.

On the contrary, eagles, like other wildlife fed by humans, become conditioned to human food and could starve to death when the convenient food supply disappears. As well, a human food diet may not meet the nutritional needs of a wild animal.

And fed birds are at a greater risk for injury or death as they feed in locations that pose a safety risk.

The large raptors, like bears or other wildlife, can become dangerous, turning on the hand that feeds them when the food isn’t forthcoming.

Eagles are just one of the beautiful creatures that inhabit the pristine wilderness of the North Island. And it is, in part, their wildness that we admire. When they are fed by humans, that wildness is lost.

So enjoy watching the eagles and photographing them, But do it from afar and don’t use food to make the experience more up close and personal.