I was looking for "multiple eagle" shots, something different.. when suddenly, two eagles took off from the tree they were perched in. I followed them visually first as they flew up and away from me by several hundred yards...I noticed the two eagles getting closer (for a cool image) so I just started shooting this event...the eagles were so far away, I didnt realize what I was photographing until I heard one of the other photogs exclaim" Ohhhhh he got it!"..... and I thought, what is he talking about?
This event happened in a matter of a few seconds. The one photog was watching the event (not photographing) and told me that the one eagle clipped the other (which had a fish), the eagle lost his fish in mid-air then snagged it again on the fly.... I got every frame BUT the last frame showing him with the fish in his talons as he recovered it....had I had known what I was actually photographing at the time, I would have shot a few more frames... Nonetheless, here are 5 images that show you how the event unfolded. I cropped the images by 50% or so. I apologize for the poor image quality but enjoy!
Note: Eagles are lazy and they often try to steal another's fish. I saw this happen more than a few times...In this case, the eagle with the fish initially retrieved his own fish!
Top to Bottom: (click on each image to enlarge)
Photo 1 - The two eagles are flying together..the eagle with the fish is on the bottom.
Photo 2 - The eagle (top) without the fish overtakes the eagle with the fish
Photo 3 - The top eagle "clips" the eagle with the fish and causes him to drop the fish in mid-air
Photo 4 - The eagle (who had the fish) immediately pursues the free falling fish
Photo 5 - The eagle with talons open is about to reclaim/snag his fish in mid-air... and he does! (trust me).