Friday, September 17, 2010

Eagle vs. Osprey vs. Eagle

This morning started very slowly. Not too many hawks migrating, and when they did come over they were in small spurts. I did get to see a Merlin munching on a dragonfly while flying which was very interesting. I guess if humans can eat a hamburger while walking, then a Merlin can eat a snack while flying.
However, at about 3:45pm today a very dramatic scene played out right in front of the observing platform. First, we saw an Osprey coming by with a fairly large fish in its talons, then an adult Bald Eagle came out of nowhere and tried multiple times to knock the fish out of the Osprey's talons. Finally, the Bald Eagle knocked the fish out of the Osprey's grasp, and when the fish fell the Bald Eagle went after it, but the Eagle missed the fish and it fell in the pond. The Eagle then circled low over the pond a few times until it found the fish and plucked it out of the water. Now satisfied, the Eagle perched on a clump of grass and mud sticking out of the pond and started to pick at the fish.
Thinking that the drama was now over, I started to turn away...but then I heard someone yell "look! there is another one!" Out of the sky came a second adult Bald Eagle who was after the fish that the first Bald Eagle had stolen from the Osprey. The two Bald Eagles chased each other around and around until the fish eventually dropped into the pond. At this point both of the Eagles were too tired to go retrieve the fish, so they both landed on clumps of soil that were sticking out of the pond, and rested for a bit (they were both breathing pretty hard) before flying off. The following are some photos I was able to capture of the spectacle.

The chase! The Bald Eagle on the left has the fish in his beak.

The chase continued

Loosing the fish

Landing for a rest.

Eagle flying away.

The End.


holdingmoments said...

Great drama to witness, and pictures a bonus. The excitement of the natural world.

Celtic Cat said...

How fantastic to be there at the right time, and witness and capture it!