From Xplor for Kids
January 2015 Issue

Predator Vs. Prey: Bald Eagle vs. Gizzard Shad

Publish Date

Jan 01, 2015

Following the Food

Missouri is one of America’s hottest eagle hangouts. Nearly 4,000 eagles spend their winters here. Look for them along Missouri’s big rivers, where they often fish from floating ice.

Perfect Predator

Bald eagles have massive hooked beaks for ripping apart fish and a windwhipping wingspan of more than 6 feet. Their eagle eyes can spot a meal on the move a mile away!

Talon Take-Out

Eagles dive into meals feet first. Flying almost level to the water, they snag fish with an outstretched talon that has 10 times the gripping strength of humans.

Strength in Numbers

Millions of shad live in Missouri’s rivers. That helps this fish family survive. Shad travel in large, constantly moving schools, leaping and skipping along. That’s why shad are nicknamed “skipjack.”

Boot Scootin´ Shad

In winter, gizzard shad seek out warmer surface water to feed on plankton. When spooked, they can dart the length of your room in less than a second.

and the winner is…

Once the eagle’s talons find their mark, our shad becomes a fish shadwich. Gizzard shad are one of the eagle’s favorite meals, sometimes accounting for nine out of 10 fish that eagles eat.

Also in this issue

Get Out!

Don't miss the chance to discover nature at these fun events!

Hungry Hunters

A mini field guide to Missouri's meat-eating mammals.

Head Bangers

Meet Missouri's hard-rocking feathered drummers.

Strange but True

Your guide to all the unusual, unique, and unbelievable stuff that goes on in nature.

How To: Build an Igloo

Even though it’s frozen, snow is great at trapping heat. Inuit hunters in the Arctic figured this out long ago and have been keeping cozy in igloos ever since.

This Issue's Staff:

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White

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