It was perhaps the most thrilling second of birding of my life. Several times over the last couple years I’ve seen Bald Eagles harass Ospreys when they have a fish. The Osprey is just minding it’s own business eating its fish when an eagle attacks in an attempt to bully the fish away from the Osprey.
Every time I’ve seen this, I only see part of the chase, and the altercation happens above the trees so I don’t get a chance to see the most thrilling part. This morning I happened to be in the right place at the right time and was able to see it all go down as they were flying low over Lake Jesup. The whole thing lasted about 10 seconds, I would guess.
But at one point the eagle was able to get extremely close to the Osprey, and it extended its claws in an attempt to bully the Osprey into giving up its fish. The Osprey banked hard to the left and narrowly escaped, but I don’t really know how. Just after the end of this series of photographs, the Osprey dropped the fish into the water and the eagle left it alone.
Just so you can appreciate how fast this all happened, my camera shoots 8 frames per second. These are all successive frames shown sequentially, and the time stamp shows that all of these photos were taken during the exact same second. Wow. I’m nature sometimes happens fast.
Here’s a shot of the Osprey after he dropped the fish into the water. I guess he figured, “If I can’t have it, neither can you.” This shot was taken about 10 seconds after the altercation.