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Photographing a Dogfight Between Two Eagles

Here’s the story of how I was in the right-place at the right-time for a special series of eagle photographs.

I was driving down a dirt road near my house when I spotted a red-tailed hawk sitting on the ground. I pulled over for a shot, thinking it may be feeding on something, but it took off and flew across the road in front of me.

Then I saw a bald eagle sitting on a pole, and thought that was great since I hadn’t seen one around my part of Colorado for quite a while.

While I was looking through the viewfinder, I noticed the eagle looking up at something.

It turned out to be a pair of hawks coming in to buzz the tower. Then two more eagles (one juvenile) showed up!

For a minute it looked like a WWII dogfight with wings and claws flashing and slashing their way through the sky. It was awesome! The hawks broke off the conflict and then it was game on between the original eagle and the young one.

One took off in hot pursuit of the other, and I jumped in my car and sped down the road throwing gravel for about a half mile to get back in position to intercept some of the action. Any photographer discipline went straight out the window as I was cranking off shots left and right trying to grab something.

It was all happening fast and a little too far away, but I got a few that show a little bit of what it was like.

The adult prevailed and circled around me once before heading southeast over the horizon. I just stood there smiling.


About the author: Chris Boyack is a photographer based in Littleton, Colorado. Visit his website here. This article originally appeared here.

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