PHOTOS: Two Bald Eagles Fight Mid-Air, Winner Flies Off Carrying Other in Its Talons

by Emily Morgan

A nature photographer saw an American bald eagle dangling by its feet during a fight with a rival over the Fourth of July weekend. Recently, photos emerged of the encounter between the two patriotic birds in Washington. In the photos, you can see the birds pushing their feet off one another and flapping their wings.

At one point, one of the 14-pound birds got the upper ‘hand’ as it seized the other’s claw and flew with its helpless opponent dangling in the air and helpless.

However, another image of the once-in-a-lifetime moment showed the two birds losing their grip, then flapping their wings before flying off in different directions. At that moment, the brief battle was over. Nature photographer Christopher Ang took the mesmerizing photos. At the time, he was around 200 feet away and was with a group of other photographers.

The 65-year-old New York City native said the “breathtaking” fight lasted over a minute. “I noticed an eagle circling above me which suddenly dove with such urgency and headed for another eagle.”

Nature Photographer Captures Amazing Moment Between Two Bald Eagles

He added: “The two eagles circled each other in the air and continued to soar higher to gain an advantage. But one swooped down with its talons outstretched and grabbed its opponent’s feet.”

“The eagle was being dangled in the air, and although it tried to fight back, it was unable to move due to the other eagle’s grip. I believe the eagle was trying to demonstrate aerial superiority and dominance – which worked as the other eagle screeched as it was being dragged and tossed about,” he said.

“As the fight continued, it soon ended after the two nearly hit the water and tumbled down to the ground. The dominant eagle released its grip on the other.”

He continued: “It was such a breathtaking moment which was so special and reminded me of the importance for us to appreciate all life on Earth.”

The photographer also said he uses his photography as a way to “help people fall in love with nature and the amazing animals that surround us.”

He also added that moments like the bird’s fight “are so spectacular” and “do a great job at doing this.”

American bald eagles have a wingspan that can be up to eight feet wide. When bald eagles battle, they circle around one another in the air to gain an advantage. By the end of the encounter, they determine who the dominant bald eagle is.

They are also highly protected birds and are also the national birds of the United States. If someone is convicted of killing a bald eagle, they must pay a fine of $250,000. They could also face five years in jail.