This pair of eagles came to blows apparently over a fish. The darker eagle is a juvenile, without its adult plumage, which develops at about 4-5 years of age. The younger eagle was catching a fish when it was assaulted by the older eagle, who apparently wanted to take its catch, which was dropped.
The two immense raptors then faced off in flight, but, wisely, the juvenile eventually retreated. Often eagles will battle for food, mates, or territory in mid air, sometimes locking talons and falling together to their deaths.
This immature eagle may have been fishing in the adult’s territory, precipitating their altercation.
Photos courtesy of Bainbridge Island photographer Joe Michael.
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