The only population of great cormorants in the United States, up in Maine, may be wiped out. Guess who's responsible? If you said man, you're only indirectly right.
Bald eagles, bouncing back after years of decline, are swaggering forth with an appetite for great cormorant chicks that threatens to wipe out that bird population in the United States.
The eagles, perhaps finding less fish to eat, are flying to Maine's remote rocky islands where they've been raiding the only known nesting colonies of great cormorants in the U.S. Snatching waddling chicks from the ground and driving adults from their nests, the eagles are causing the numbers of the glossy black birds to decline from more than 250 pairs to 80 pairs since 1992.
The bald eagles, after being saved by man, have impacted other ecosystems. They don't have a restricted diet:
With more eagles around and fewer fish in the waters than in the past, young eagles are turning to other birds to satisfy their hunger. Eagles are opportunistic feeders and will go after the easiest prey they can find, bird experts say.
It reminds me of that list of joke headlines from the future: Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.
Some people believe humans are no better than other animals. To them, I ask, how many species care about the fate of these great cormorants?