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Pablo Yez | all galleries >> Photo du Jour - PaD > Bald Eagle vs. Blue Heron
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Bald Eagle vs. Blue Heron
04-APR-2011 Pablo Yaez

Bald Eagle vs. Blue Heron

Williamsburg, VA

Caught this little battle between a bald eagle and a blue heron yesterday.

A blue heron in the shallows in a creek in the Williamsburg area that had caught a very large fish that he was messing with. To the best of my knowledge herons swallow their fish whole... and this one was far too large for him to swallow whole. I noticed that there was a mature bald eagle that was quite interested in this "situation". He did nothing for a long time, but eventually he came in to pirate the fish from the heron. You could think this would be an easy proposition for the eagle, but it was not. The heron stood his ground for a while and actually struck out at the eagle a few time before the eagle finally got the fish.

Interestingly when I got home, and since I had never heard of this behavior, I google'd "eagle fighting heron" and came up with almost nothing, except for this interesting tidbit. In 1775 the 1st Continental Congress issued currency including a 3 dollar bill (you can't make this stuff up). The bill featured a heron and eagle fighting with the motto - "Exitus in dubio est" (The outcome is in doubt). The image shows a heron which has skewered an eagle through the neck. To me at least it looks like the colonists were surprisingly associating themselves with the underdog heron rather than the bald eagle (the brits?).

So there you have it, a crappy photo with a history lecture to boot, what could be more fun? :)

Nikon D7000
1/640s f/9.0 at 500.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Paolo Flores07-May-2011 13:03
Great photo and story!