Osprey vs Eagle


At Eastern Neck NWR, another Osprey is busy fishing at sunrise!


Excellent catch, Mr Osprey!
Now to get it back to the nest for the Mrs to enjoy!


But a set of eyes from a distant tree watched the Osprey’s hard work and ultimate prize.  😕

A Bald Eagle decided it wanted that fish and engaged in high pursuit to try to harass and force the Osprey to drop it.  The Eagle’s plan would then be to quickly drop to snatch the fish easily from the water’s surface.




Both species are fast flyers.

The bigger and stronger Bald Eagle can fly at top speeds of 30 mph.

But Osprey have a slight edge on being smaller and lighter, performing quick maneuvers much easier, and can reach top speeds up to 40 mph.





Both can dive even faster.  The Osprey can reach up to 80 mph, whereas the heavier Eagle can reach up to 100 mph.

So in the chase, the Osprey can possibly out-fly an Eagle; but if a ‘diving’ maneuver occurs, the Eagle may catch up quickly.

This Osprey proves it will not give up its fish so easily in this two-minute chase!










The Osprey dives and the Eagle catches up!



(You are going to love the next three photos!)

As the Eagle closed in quickly on the Osprey, the Osprey pulled an awesome maneuver, turning and pulling up; and the surprised Eagle passed underneath, unable to make that quick, flexible turn!


Eagle catching up to the Osprey


Just as the Eagle is on its tail, the Osprey pulls up hard


The Eagle cannot make the upturn and passes underneath.
Well done, Mr Osprey!

And that was the Osprey maneuver that ended the two-minute chase!  The exhausted Eagle gave up, flew off and out of sight.

With his fish still intact, the Osprey circled around to ensure the Eagle was done his chase.





He then reverted back to his original mission and direction for home and his waiting lady, passing by me.



Get the table ready, breakfast is coming!




The Osprey really do work hard for their catch, especially when there are nearby lazy Eagles, waiting for a possible easy meal.

Bonus, here’s the above chase in slideshow format to click through, if it works with your connection.  Go Osprey!



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