Photographer Kevin Ebi has recently captured a dramatic wildlife encounter you definitely don’t see every day. While he was photographing a baby fox that caught a rabbit, a bald eagle stormed down and tried stealing the fox’s dinner. The bird lifted bot the fox and the rabbit off the ground, they fought more than 20 feet in the air, and Kevin was lucky to capture the unusual fight on camera.
The spectacular encounter happened at San Juan Island National Historical Park. Kevin writes that he was photographing several young foxes rest and play on the prairie. One of them caught a rabbit and Kevin panned his camera to capture the action. Then he heard the bald eagle’s cry. He turned around and saw the bird approaching fast. Knowing that they tend to steal food from other animals, Kevin stayed focused on the fox, expecting that the eagle that will easily snatch its food. However, it was way more dramatic than he expected.
The little fox kept its jaw clenched on the rabbit. Because of this, the eagle lifted both of them, and the severe struggle began. The fox didn’t want to let go and put up quite a fight, but the eagle eventually won and flew away with the prey. Kevin says that the whole scene lasted less than eight seconds, but he managed to capture it in a series of stunning images.
When the eagle let go of the fox, it fell down on the ground from more than 20 feet. Luckily, it stayed unhurt and kept playing with other foxes. After capturing this unusual fight, Kevin did some research and it turned out that, indeed, encounters like this are rare. Reportedly, 97% of the park’s eagles’ diet is fish and other birds, they rarely go after rabbits. Not to mention that they probably rarely go after rabbits already in foxes’ jaws. So, I guess Kevin was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time (and have his camera with him).
When I saw this photo, it immediately reminded me of the “one in a trillion” shot Doc Jon has recently captured, and you can read more about it here. And if you’d like to read the entire story of the fox vs. eagle fight for food, make sure to visit Kevin Ebi’s blog.
[via Washington Post]