When folks go to Yellowstone, golden eagles are not likely to be one of the big predators they’re hoping to see. It’s more probable that they are looking for grizzly or black bears, maybe even wolves. Yet a recent study has shown that the big raptors have found an unusual toe-hold in the park, thanks probably to elk. You wouldn’t think that elk and golden eagles have anything in common. But the theory is that when elk numbers were high there were plenty of elk that died in the winter and provided carcasses for the eagles to feed on. All of those carcasses helped increase eagle numbers in the park, and bring more migrant eagles to Yellowstone in the winter from up north.
Find out what could happen to the eagle population now that elk numbers have fallen by reading my story in this week’s Billings Gazette online at: http://bgz.tt/uz2pt
(Written by Brett French – Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette)