And now the exciting conclusion of my series titled Birds of a Feather
. So far we have covered the origins of my blog name Troutbirder
and musing the propriety of naming the Bald Eagle as our national bird, according to Ben Franklin and myself. Now we shall explore the frontiers of Eagle and Osprey interaction as discovered my friend Mr. Science (Gary).
Eagles On Attack:
Along and near the Father of Waters, the mighty river dividing Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Bald Eagle now makes its home in large numbers year around. Some them move south during the winter while new arrivals in large numbers come south from Canada to winter in "tropical" southeastern Minnesota. . Hundreds of bald eagles prefer to overwinter in the Red Wing and Wabasha areas near the Mississippi River, where the current of the inflowing Chippewa River maintains open water throughout the winter.
Recently, friends Gary and Bobbie photographed an unusual sight in the backwaters of the Big River near the Iowa border. Take a look....
At some distance several eagles were chasing an osprey. As I pointed out in a previous post these attacks often involve forcing the osprey to drop its catch .... the fish. Outright thievery as I described it. As the above picture shows, two mature and one immature eagles are involved. A flock of mallards flees the ruckus. According to the photographer the immature eagle actually struck the osprey although the photograph is unclear whether it used its talons.
The second photo shows the osprey clearly escaped to land in a nearby tree. Five eagles landed above on the same tree and several others in adjacent trees. Unfortunately, I can't relate the final outcome of this very rare misadventure as Bobbi had noted a seriously low tire on their car and they had to hurry off to the nearest town for a repair.
Finally, and in the interest of complete disclosure, while my bias in favor of the hard working osprey has no doubt been noted, the better half of the Troutbirder family, Mrs. T. stands firmly next to and behind her favorite raptor, Angel the American Bald Eagle and Ambassador of her species at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota......:)