Bald Eagle eating another Bald Eagle

WARNING: The following photos may be disturbing to some viewers!

My friend Cory Ritter sent me the following photos. His mother was behind their house near the Rainbow Flowage in Oneida County, Wisconsin and came across an adult Bald Eagle sitting on the ground feeding from something. They were right near a nest that has been in use for the past few years by various eagle couples. The adult eagle flew up to a stump, where she was able to take a few photos. The adult eagle refused to fly away, even when they approached very close. Then she went over to see what the eagle was feeding on. The eagle’s prey turned out to be another eagle! They sent the photos to me for verification and I really couldnt believe it, but sure enough the dead bird looks to be a juvenile Bald Eagle.

So, the big question is; what was this eagle doing eating another eagle? Did it kill the juvenile? If so was it a relative or an intruder?

Or, was the juvenile eagle killed some other way and the adult eagle was just taking advantage of a free meal? I have seen lots of eagles feeding on carrion, but to eat one of its own species seems strange. However, there are a few instances of raptors eating their own kind, for instance King Vulture, Black Vulture, and Prairie Falcon.

Take a look at the photos and let me know what you think.

The adult Bald Eagle after it was scared off its food.

Another shot of the adult Bald Eagle after it was scared off its food.

The dead juvenile Bald Eagle.

A close-up of the dead juvenile Bald Eagle.