Bald Eagle vs Osprey; Osprey vs Bald Eagle

Started Feb 25, 2020 | Photos thread
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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 33,823
Bald Eagle vs Osprey; Osprey vs Bald Eagle
14

Had quite a wild sighting to witness, and to photograph, while out Saturday at my local wetlands, Wakodahatchee in Delray Beach.  It started when I spotted a bald eagle flying quite low - they're not common around here, and when you do see them fly over, it's usually at very high altitudes.  I first started to enjoy getting a few shots of him as he circled around once or twice - before realizing the reason he was down so low...he had spotted an osprey fishing, and decided to keep an eye on him.  When the osprey scored a fish, the eagle decided to steal it for himself...and the battle was on!

First sighting of the eagle, and a few scenic shots as he banked around for a few laps

Nothing impressive for you people up north who see eagles all the time - down here, they're not that common at all!

This was the moment he spotted the osprey with a fresh catch - and he turned on the speed to go after him (I was fighting a partly cloudy day with rainshowers, so at times the birds were in blue sky and with some light, and other times the backdrop was pure cloud)

The pursuit of the osprey took them away from me unfortunately, so I had to catch a few tail shots as the smaller osprey tried to deke left and right to throw off the eagle - and the eagle who was surprisingly maneuverable and stayed with him

The osprey was darting low for a tree line and the eagle was coming in from above

The osprey finally panicked and dropped the fish hoping it might save his feathers and his life - at that point maybe a little unsure if his catch was the target, or HE was!

Rising up from the tree line, the bald eagle appeared with the fish in his talons

He circled around a few times as the osprey was calling out crazily and starting to gather his courage to come back around

His courage welled up and adrenaline pumping, the osprey decided to go for round 2, and go after the bald eagle to get his fish back.  The eagle was having none of it, making some aggressive snaps at the oncoming osprey while still flying off with the fish

The attack continued with a few aggressive dives by the osprey, who stayed in pursuit, and the eagle kept defending

One last attempt to try to rattle the eagle - who was still defending well - to no avail - the osprey finally gave up as the eagle left the wetlands perimeter, and the osprey went back to his home grounds, having just lost out on his hard-earned catch

But osprey doesn't just give up - an hour or so later, I saw the osprey heading in a steep dive, and though I was shooting directly into the sun, I caught him emerging from the water with another nice fish catch

He pulled up out of the water, and flew over me, in better light this time, with his fish - and seemed to be VERY vigilantly looking around in all directions, to make sure no eagle was hovering nearby to steal his fish again.  This time, he got to bring home his catch and eat

In the end, both birds got a meal...the osprey had to work twice as hard to get his one meal, while the eagle just hyena'd someone else's meal...but neither will be going hungry today.

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Justin
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