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Surprises at Hallam Lake

After almost nine months at ACES (has it really been that long?), I'm beginning to feel like I know Hallam Lake well. However, the best thing about Hallam Lake is that there is always something new to find. Last week, after a lot of snow over the weekend, Robin and I were walking around the lake, shoveling out the platforms and bridges. Coming around the corner past the big blue spruce, I saw something exciting ahead of me.

In the fresh snow, there was an area with a bit of blood on the snow, some small downy feathers, and some wing marks in the snow! There were no tracks around the site, other than the trail, and no tunnels either-- it was a mystery! Robin and I discussed for a while what could have happened- at first we thought a large bird had gotten a weasel that had put up a fight, but without tracks or a tunnel, it couldn't be!

Here's a more close up shot of the scene:

We decided it must have been a large bird killing a small bird. A male golden eagle has been visiting our female all winter-- perhaps this was his meal? That same morning, there were also beds on the path where a couple of elk had been spending the night. I'll admit, I was wrong-- there are still lots of things to learn about Hallam Lake!

~Kendall Reiley