Nature,  Wildlife

Juvenile Bald Eagles Fighting for a Fish on the Ice – a Photo Essay

It was dark, cloudy, with a light snow.  It wasn’t a great day for photography.  But it turns out that it was a great day to watch wildlife.  The photographs in this blog are not the best, but they do tell a story of two juvenile bald eagles vying for a fish.

Juvenile Bald Eagles on the Ice

While driving through Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Ohio, I notice two dark objects on the ice of Pond 27.  I stopped to take a look and it turned out to be two juvenile bald eagles sitting close together on the ice.

The bald eagles were pretty far out on the pond so I attached the 1.4x teleconverterto my Canon 500mm f/4 and set up to watch and photograph the eagles.  As I watched the two juvenile eagles through the lens, I noticed a conflict between the two juveniles.

Juvenile Bald Eagles Fighting Over a Fish

One of the juvenile bald eagles had claimed a fish on the ice and the other was determined to steal the fish.  Bald eagles love to steal fish from one another.  So keep an eye out if you are photographing a bald eagle eating a fish.  Another eagle may drop by to steal a meal.

Juvenile Bald Eagles Fighting Over a Fish

I watched the intruder make several attempts to steal the fish.  He even sat really close to the other eagle trying to intimidate him.  The two juvenile eagles had several clashes with wings flapping and claws out.  Neither eagle seemed hurt by these attacks but they made for great photos.

Finally after 15 minutes or so, the intruder juvenile eagle, flew off in the falling snow. 

Juvenile Bald Eagle in a Snow Storm

The weather here in Ohio can be gray and cloudy during the winter months.  Sometimes you have to get out and photograph nature even when the light is not great and sometimes you will be rewarded.

Juvenile Bald with Dinner on the Ice

Written by Martin Belan

Related Blog Posts
Photographing Bald Eagles on the Upper Mississippi River
A Gallery of Bald Eagles Fishing
A Collection of Bald Eagles In Flight


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