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Photos: Bald Eagle Steals Slice of Pepperoni Pizza in Connecticut

Bald eagles are known to have great stamina and sharp eyesight. Apparently, they also have impeccable taste. Earlier this month, nature photographer Doug Gemmel captured a juvenile bald eagle swooping down on a new variety of prey: a slice of pepperoni pizza.

Gemmel told the News Times that he saw the eagle descending toward something on the ground near the water in Wethersfield Cove. However, he didn’t realize it was a slice of pizza until he examined the photos later.

The young bald eagle snatched up the slice, swooped up into the sky—and was immediately hounded by four jealous crows, Gemmel reported. Crows are known to harass larger birds, especially when there’s food involved. (Gemmel didn’t say whether or not the eagle escaped with pizza intact.)

Gemmel’s Facebook post about the sighting has received dozens of comments and shares, and it’s been reposted widely in the media. Some commenters have said they feel sad to see a mighty bird reduced to stealing food scraps. Others point out that it’s comforting to see eagles in Connecticut at all, given their fraught history.

About a hundred years ago, bald eagles were extremely common throughout the U.S. Then, in the middle of the 20th century, they were nearly wiped out by DDT poisoning and habitat loss. Over the last few decades, populations have begun to rebound. Today, more than 50 nesting pairs call Connecticut home. Some experts estimate that as many as 150 bald eagles now reside in the state.

While freshwater fish, not pizza, is typically their preferred food of choice, bald eagles are known to scavenge for food when the opportunity presents itself. So, while we can only hope this juvenile eagle gets back to practicing its fishing skills soon, it’s hard to begrudge him a free slice. Teenagers of all kinds, it seems, need takeout every once in a while.

Image by Alan Vernon/Getty
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