[Bristol-Birds] Bald Eagle pirates Osprey's food

  • From: Wallace Coffey <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 1-A Bristol-Birds <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 11:01:23 -0300

Sunday evening at Musick's Campground, South Holston Lake, Don Holt and I
had watched an Osprey catch a fish in the Spring Creek Embayment of the lake.

A moment later we observed an adult Bald Eagle winging across the lake and
straight into the Spring Creek area to chase the Osprey.  As soon as the
eagle arrived, he began to attack the Osprey on the wing.  They flew in
tight circles with the eagle showing amazing flight skills and agility for a
bird with a 7-foot wingspan.  Finally, after much chasing, the eagle drove
the Osprey down towards the water and it dropped the fish.   Both the eagle
and Osprey went out of sight behind some trees which were between us so we
could not see if the eagle snatched the prey before it hit the water.
Within seconds the eagle flew out from behind the trees with the fish.  The
eagle went to the shoreline to feed but a group on a floatboat saw him and
drove close to get a better look and flushed the bird.  He then moved to the
another spot on the shoreline to feed.  A few crows arrived and took
interest in the eagle's meal so the eagle waded out in the water and held
his fish under water where the crows could not get it.

We enjoyed a very pleasing aerial show of combat between these larger
fish-eating raptors.  The interactions between the two, the boaters and
crows were enjoyable to say the least.

Let's go birding.....

Wallace Coffey
Bristol, TN


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