- Aug 18, 2018
Very cool, great photo. The Bald Eagle / Osprey interaction is totally new to me, cool that you saw that too in Yellowstone! I think the Ospreys might be better in catching fish and the Bald Eagles are very opportunistic hunters/thieves! The Bald Eagles apparently often chase the Ospreys until they drop the catch.... Just a few hour ago I brought the binocular with me and watched one of the immature Bald Eagles suddenly land on the road in front of me to pick up a fish! Either the Eagle or the Osprey had dropped a fish. The Bald Eagle flew back to the telephone post with the fish and a few seconds later the Osprey flew close by. I don't know who caught the fish today, but I watched the Eagle pick the fish apart little by little- it's clearly a little younger than the one you saw. Later I watched the Osprey hovering over the water, then it continued flying. Seconds later the Bald Eagle was back over the water again. As I came around the lake I watched the Bald Eagle glide in circles and suddenly the legs and claws came forward and it swooped down and attempted to catch a fish. Minutes later 2 immature Bald Eagles were gliding over the lake together. Awesome. Here is a great article: https://www.quora.com/Which-raptor-is-better-at-catching-fish-the-Osprey-or-the-Bald-EagleHow appropriate of you to ask. On my last day when the bears were challenging the bison for the Yellowstone bridge, ( I posted that sequence on the YNP forum...see the link at the end of my trip report) in the middle of all the fracas an immature bald eagle did exactly as you said....it flew over us trying to snag a trout from an Osprey. I swung my camera up in time to get one frame of the immature eagle.
Where are you located that you are lucky enough to see them on a regular basis?
We see both Ospreys and Bald Eagles almost every day now down at the lake. The Bald Eagles even glide over our house too on most days and circle over the yard! We are just east of Albany, NY, with many small lakes and the Hudson River close by. Our property backs up to an undisturbed forest full of mature tall Oak and pine trees and it's close to a lake surrounded by mature oaks and other trees- all key requirements for nesting Eagles. The local lake is about 400 yards down the hill and right now Cormorants, common Merganser, etc are swimming around. The lake must be healthy and full of fish, if it supports cormorants, 3 Bald Eagles and a pair of Ospreys. Unfortunately 1.5 years ago (not last fall) the DEC was called in because the female Bald Eagle had died, apparently colliding with the water tower. It's not clear to me, if the nest is at the water tower. Hopefully a new female will move in and mate with the current male. I don't know, if the 2 immature Bald Eagles are the young ones from 2 years ago. Last Sunday morning I watched a mature Bald Eagle sitting right next to one of the immature ones. I frequently see the 2 immature ones hanging out together.
In July 2017 the DEC announced there was an estimated 323 breeding pairs of Bald Eagles in NY State (it was down to 1 pair in 1960). About 4 years ago we started to see Bald Eagles locally on occasion. The last 2 years they were often seen down at the lake and sometimes in this development. Now we see them constantly, both Bald Eagles as well as Ospreys. The Hudson River is a big draw during the winter attracting migrating Eagles from up North as well as NYS resident Bald Eagles looking for open water with fish.
@Artemus - I'm tagging you, since I know you like the bird/eagle news.