I was shooting with my brother, Gary, at the Ridgefield NWR today, Nov. 20, 2013, and we came across this amazing action between an immature Bald Eagle and a (possibly) immature Red-tailed Hawk. We were shooting from our vehicles where this hump/bump in the water is a good 250 feet away from us. I have my 1000mm set up, 500mm lens plus 2x III extender. This episode between these two birds (and some others), went on for at least 30 minutes. Lighting was not in our favor as the sun was in about the 10 o’clock position, to the left and slightly behind the birds causing bright reflections on the water surface.
I took many frames from this exchange and it was hard to choose which one to share first. This image makes it appear that the hawk is about to meet his Waterloo, but in fact, the story ends with the hawk the lone occupier of this bump in the water, along with at least some of the hapless coot. This hawk had initially bullied a mature Bald Eagle off the bump and claimed the Coot that the eagle had caught, for his own. [How and why it did this I have no idea but the hawk may need therapy for its reckless behavior!] 🙂 That apparently didn’t set well with the immature eagle pictured and it flew in to harass the hawk at least three times during the half hour exchange. I will be sharing many of these shots in a future blog post and talk more about how I think my 1000 mm set up performed.
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 2000, 1000mm.