A staredown between predator and prey: Here’s the story behind that photo of a squirrel and a bald eagle
“It’s one of those things where if you miss it by a day, an hour, or 15 minutes, it’s gone.”
A squirrel and a bald eagle stare at each other in Lincoln, Maine. Courtesy of Roger Stevens Jr.
When Lincoln, Maine-based photographer Roger Stevens Jr. was reviewing photograph of a staredown between a squirrel and a bald eagle he took last Monday, he thought they looked “ reasonably shrill, ” so he decided to parcel one on his Facebook page.
“ I didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate give it much of a think after that, ” Stevens said in an interview with Boston.com on Monday .
But it turns out Stevens had unwittingly struck viral gold .
The shares from the photograph began to surge, which he thought was “ kind of odd. ” He sent the photograph on to a contact at the Bangor ( Maine ) Daily News, which ran a narrative a couple days subsequently, and to a local news program station, as he sometimes does .
meanwhile, the Facebook shares continued to soar. By the end of the workweek, Stevens said he was receiving calls from across the pond — news outlets in Great Britain and the Netherlands wanted to talk with him about the wildlife consequence permanently frozen in time. A company in Denmark called and asked to feature the photograph on a children ’ sulfur show about nature ; Stevens OK ’ d it and was sent a copy of the nip in tax return .
“ Thursday and Friday, most of the time I was on the telephone, interview, ” he said .
As of just after 4 post meridiem Monday, Stevens ’ randomness photograph had over 26,000 shares and over 1,200 comments on Facebook .
“ It went ball-shaped fast, ” Stevens said .
The fatal day began merely like any early, Stevens described. He and his frump, Rosie, got up, had breakfast, and then headed out — Stevens says he “ always ” has his camera .
Stevens was looking for eagles specifically, he said. He ’ sulfur published photograph books on diverse animals before, and this is his latest project. He saw the eagle sitting in the tree next to the Rite Aid in the middle of Lincoln .
“ It was kind of a grey day, ” Stevens recalled. “ not a bang-up day to film the eagle. ”
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While drinking his morning chocolate and watching the large bird of prey, Stevens was approached by a supporter and the two began talking. As Stevens was shooting, his friend questioned, “ What is that going up the corner ? ” Stevens said he didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate see the squirrel at first .
“ The squirrel literally came from I don ’ thymine know where, ” he said. “ It raced up the tree and started good kind of like playing hide-and-seek with this eagle. And then it got very bold and stuck its neck out there in the picture that everybody sees. And I thought this is kind of odd, but I didn ’ t in truth think that much about it at the time. ”
I couldn ’ thyroxine have made this up ! ! Gray Squirrel and Bald Eagle in staring match… Behind the Rite-Aide store in Downtown Lincoln, Maine ! !
Posted by Roger Stevens Jr. on Monday, March 11, 2019
What Stevens had captured was an interaction between marauder and raven — bald eagles eat squirrels and other little mammals, according to the National Eagle Center in Minnesota .
For those wondering what happened after the photograph was taken, things didn ’ metric ton end badly for the bold squirrel, according to Stevens. The eagle flew away after about 10 minutes .
He said he hadn ’ thymine seen an interaction like that before between animals — he ’ sulfur been shooting wildlife for 21 years. Of his unexpected brush with viral internet fame, Stevens said it ’ s been “ fun, ” and he and his wife, Julie, “ shake our heads and laugh. ”
He said he recently set up Instagram and Twitter accounts, and is learning how to use them, so new fans can follow his work.
Of the circumstances around the photograph, Stevens said it ’ s one of those evanesce moments he was able to capture with his television camera .
“ That ’ s the hale deal of this visualize, ” he said. “ It ’ s one of those things where if you miss it by a day, an hour, or 15 minutes, it ’ south gone. ”
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.