Falcons vs. Eagles

By on November 19, 2014

 

A peregrine falcon bears down on this eagle carrying a fish it just caught. The eagle can't match the speed of the peregrine but somehow managed to escape with its catch.

A peregrine falcon bears down on this eagle carrying a fish it just caught. The eagle can’t match the speed of the peregrine but somehow managed to escape with its catch.

This adult bald eagle didn’t know what happened… at first.
After some chirps it came out of a tree behind the parking lot at Conowingo Dam, glided out over the pool at the base of the structure, and made several circles before deftly snatching a fish. It lifted off in the direction of the bulwark at the top of the dam before turning into the afternoon sun.
Out of nowhere came a gray/tan flash that tapped (at least it looked that way) the eagle on its back with an outstretched talon. Everything at that point was a matter of speed, and it was quite obvious the eagle was outmatched by a peregrine (falcon). The sleek raptor followed the tap with a rising loop and came back in behind the eagle like a jet fighter and an airliner. The peregrine stayed close by using four maneuvers: dropping back, coming up over top, and moving out to one side and then the other. Was it playing or issuing an up-close and personal warning?
At its first opportunity the eagle made a steep dive down over the pool as the peregrine gained elevation and disappeared into the superstructure. One lucky eagle with fish in tow quickly looped back over the parking lot and faded into a mass of tree limbs.

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