Food Fight at the Dam

Today’s post features some fresh images of wintering Bald Eagles that I captured last Friday, here at the Lake of the Ozarks.

During the winter months, bald eagles from Canada and the northern United States often winter in our area, particularly around Bagnell Dam at the Lake. Last Friday the weather was frigid cold (single digits) and had a 10 mph wind … Brrrrrr! I got up early and headed out to the dam before sunrise. Once I reached the dam access area, the sun was just beginning to rise. And out in front of me were 10-12 eagles.

During my time at the dam, there seemed to continuously be 5 or 6 bald eagles that were circling over the water, looking for fish. At one point, an eagle captured a fish and was immediately mobbed by two other eagles trying to take the fish away from the one eagle. Here is a sequence I captured of this activity:

In this first image, the top eagle has a fish in one of his talons:

Wintering Bald Eagles fighting over a fish

In this next image, you can see the fish hanging from the eagle’s right talon (the eagle on the upper right):

Wintering Bald Eagles fighting over a fish

In this next image, the 2 “pirates” are closing in on the fish-carrying eagle:

Wintering Bald Eagles fighting over a fish

In this next image, you can see the fish as it free falls back to the water:

Wintering Bald Eagles fighting over a fish

Not quite realizing what has just happened, the attack is still on:

Wintering Bald Eagles fighting over a fish

Well, it looks like we have an appreciable amount of snow headed our way over the next 2 days. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we get a nice snowfall so I can check out the snowy landscapes at Ha Ha Tonka State Park!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/800 sec. to 1/2500 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2022, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography
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