Sometimes when you need to take a nap, you can nap just about anywhere.
That’s how this black bear apparently felt when it decided to curl up and rest in a bald eagle’s nest high up in the trees. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was doing a wildlife study in Anchorage, Alaska when they spotted the bear utilizing the six-foot-wide nest as its sleeping spot.
Those within the service had been keeping a close eye on the eagle nest for a number of months, occasionally checking up on it from time to time.
When they did a flyover this time, they could “bear-ly” (sorry about that, I love puns) believe their eyes when they saw the bear making itself at home in the nest usually reserved for our national bird.
The USFWS took to their Facebook page to share the picture, with the first part of the caption stating:
“While a napping black bear isn’t what you would expect to find in a bald eagle nest when conducting an eagle nest productivity survey, it might not be too extraordinary on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson – JBER, Alaska.”
They go on to give information about past bald eagle-bear encounters that they know of, and how they generally don’t go all that well for the big birds.
The service also gave some interesting insight into this particular nest’s history, and most importantly when they last observed an eagle using it:
“In the past, a few eagle nests have been raided by black bears with predictably bad results for the nesting eagles (i.e., loss of that year’s nestlings).
During a survey flown with a helicopter in May, this nest was occupied by an adult female eagle seen incubating an egg on the nest.”
Since they hadn’t seen an eagle in the nest for a couple of months, its probably safe to assume that the egg hatching process was unsuccessful and the bird abandoned the nest all together.
If the eggs would have successful hatched, there would have been a 10 to 12 week raising period, followed by another 1 to 2 months of the young eagles learning from their mother.
So it appears that the “high rise” home was up for grabs, and one bear that was pretty talented at climbing decided to call dibs on it.
From the looks of the pictures, it seems like the nest was the perfect fit for the Alaskan Black bear.
Take a look:
And like their post said, its not totally uncommon for bears and bald eagles to cross paths. This video below shows a bald eagle majestically swooping down to claim territory over a wandering brown bear.
Though the bird might be outsized, its ability to launch an aerial attack levels the playing field somewhat and keeps the bear on its toes.
In the clip, at first the bear is scared away by the bald eagle, but it eventually comes back and gives the bird a taste of its own medicine.