Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Osprey vs. Bald Eagle

I thought I would share an interesting episode that happened at the banding area last Sunday. I was in between net runs and stepped out to see if anything was out on the lake. There was an Osprey circling and trying to land on a tree top but kept choosing a branch that was too small. I kept scanning the lake an could see the bird diving out of the corner of my eye. I got an unfocused shot of the splash as it hit the water.


Moments later, it emerged with a good-sized fish that you can just make out if you look close enough.


I tracked the bird as it headed out over the center of the lake and hoped it would head in my direction for a close shot. It did turn and I started preparing for the shot. I snapped and...

Osprey dropped the dang fish as I was focusing! I could see the fish hit the water and then the Osprey made a fast close pass in front of me. So close I couldn't get that other wing in the frame. Why dump your breakfast?


Just as the Osprey veered past me I could see another shape moving in from the right. A Bald Eagle was zooming in from a perch across the lake and he paused to stare down at the rippling water where the fish escaped becoming a meal. Eagles often lay in wait to rush out and let Osprey's do the hard work and then steal the prey in mid-air.

Bald Eagle

The Osprey must have seen it first and decided to give up the food rather than engage in a fight. He can grab a fish just about any old time. The eagle headed to another perch to await the next offering.

Bald Eagle

Always something interesting out at Lake Lotus. If you have never visited my bird banding blog, head on over and see weekly updates on all the birds and things in Nature we discover.

The Great Backyard Bird Count for 2013 is February 15-18th.
Click the icon to learn more!

Great Backyard Bird Count

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