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Sunday, January 15, 2017

AMAZING STRUGGLE BETWEEN AN EAGLE AND A HERON

The bald eagles have been migrating south and many of them have settled here on Douglas Lake in Tennessee.  They will stay until March or somewhere close to that and disappear back to their northern climes.  Some will stay, however.  The first few pictures are of eagles I encountered on the shoreline of Douglas Lake yesterday while cruising on my boat.  The camera is ever ready.  But the latter pictures are of an amazing encounter between a young bald eagle and a great blue heron.  I've been cruising on these Tennessee lakes for 14 years and have never seen such an encounter.  Hope yo enjoy the photographs.









 This magnificent bird rules the sky and the lake---and he is only a baby.




 The talons.
 I stopped the boat in the calm water to do some paperwork and something flashed past my head as I was looking down and it slammed into a great blue heron on the shoreline.  It was an immature bald eagle.
 The heron had caught a fish and the eagle saw this from on high and decided it was his.  He is the more powerful and the king of birds in these parts.  He slammed into the heron and the heron dropped the fish as he was pushed backwards.
 The amazing thing is that the heron then charged into the bald eagle.  This is unheard of for a great blue heron that is docile, mild, meek and stands stoically in silence fishing and minding his own business.  This heron was having none of the eagle's intrusion and charged into the young eagle.
 The heron slammed into the eagles chest with power, his wings uplifted high to make himself appear larger than he really was.


 The eagle was surprised at the attack and stood and faced his attacker, the heron.
 They circled and paced about, each taunting the other.
 If that were an adult bald eagle I doubt there would have been any struggle here at all.  Critters totally respect adult baldies.
 Then the heron couldn't stand still any longer and charged into the bald eagle striking chest to chest driving the eagle further away down the hill.
 The eagle reacted by running and flapping toward the heron which frightened the heron into a rearward movement.

 The eagle, seeing he suddenly gained the upper hand, ran toward the heron and finally lifted off the ground and flew toward the now standing heron.  The young eagle lept into the air and made fastest possible speed.  The heron only had time to watch the missile coming toward him.
 The heron was knocked totally to the ground with the chest to chest impact from the eagle's attack.
 The heron made a wise decision to leave the fish and the area altogether.  I think a wise move indeed.

 The eagle turned and instantly pounced on the fish.

 A quick look over the shoulder to assure he was alone, and he was satisfied that he was the victor and new owner of supper.
 This truly was an amazing thing to see.  Two things about this.  I noticed the eagle didn't bring his legs, feet or talons into play.  This may be due to nature wiring them not to risk damage to their only means of catching food and assuring life.  The other issue is, if this were an adult eagle I doubt there would have been a confrontation to begin with.  Adult eagles have no patience with lesser birds and don't usually doddle around with them.  Hope you enjoyed