Thursday, May 16, 2013 Brief Bald Eagle Battle

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

A few days ago, I noticed two BALD EAGLES stroking swiftly with deadly determination towards me. The adult seemed to be pursuing the subadult, quickly closing the gap. I immediately froze, camera at the ready. Whenever two eagles (or ravens) get that close, something interesting usually happens. Sure enough, the fierce adult caught up with the younger bird just overhead, menacing golden talons extended. The younger bird quickly flipped over, presenting its sharp talons in defense. The giants briefly locked weapons, falling earthward, then disengaged, and as quickly sped off. One peeled off and away as the other veered and circled back to attend to whatever business was waiting.

Wow! It happened in a flash and ended so fast! I was just relieved to be an inconsequential, stunned observer, of zero interest to either magnificent bird.

Coincidentally, not a minute later, two RAVENS flew past and repeated the flip-claws-touch-flip-flyby-ta da! But then, these excellent aerial acrobats do this all the time just for fun. Maybe they were inspired by the Eagles to show off.

Mid-May seems to be a very active time for both Eagles and Ravens as mating pairs and territories are established. Youngsters are driven away from the ol' homestead, as pair bonds are strengthened. Keep an eye out whenever you see two eagles flying too close together; sparks might fly!

Check out this link to a similar situation in Duluth Minnesota, "Two bald eagles in air battle crash-land at airport":

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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