In November of last year, I was lucky to observe a lot of bald eagle activity around a lake near my home. (In total I observed 5 eagles: 3 adults and 2 juveniles.)
Content warning: this post includes photos, from a distance, of a dead bird.
One Saturday morning, I was photographing a couple of them flying over the lake, and I observed them attack another bird in midair.
In this post I share that sequence of photos, with a little commentary. (The full album, including photos of the eagles flying, is on Flickr and is embedded at the end of this post.) Unfortunately, even with a 500mm lens, I had to crop in quite a bit, so the photos aren’t very high-resolution. But they work fine when viewed on a screen.
In the first photo, you can see that one of the juvenile eagles — the one on the left — has nabbed another bird from the air:
In the next photo, the eagle has let the prey bird go for some reason, and it’s falling to the ice:
In the next photo, an adult eagle has appeared. I’m not sure from where; it may have already been sitting on the ice while the others flew above it. The prey bird has fallen to the ice, and the adult has taken it over:
The two juvenile eagles continue to hover around the adult. I assume1 they’re annoyed they don’t get to eat their own quarry, but they aren’t quite prepared to fight the adult over it:
In the final photo, another adult has landed, scaring off the remaining juvenile:
And here’s the full album, including some nice (if highly-cropped) photos of adult & juvenile eagles flying:
I assume. Maybe they’re a family hunting together or something. I’m not an expert 🤷🏻♂️ ↩