Video from an osprey nest cam on Hog Island, Maine captured a bald eagle’s incredible attack and a rare glimpse at the brutal competition that exists among birds of prey in the wild.
One of the osprey parents is seen tailing the bald eagle in an attempt to defend the perch and its offspring. But before the osprey can make a strike, the iconic bald eagle rushes up to the nest from below, quickly latching onto one of the nearly full-grown osprey chicks.
The eagle barely stops flapping its wings before flying away with its catch.
The National Audubon Society called the attack “bittersweet,” and said the video provides a reminder of “just how powerful and fast a raptor attack can be.”
“It’s one of the best videos I’ve ever seen of eagle predation,” said Steve Kress, vice president for bird conservation at the National Audubon Society.
This is not the first bald eagle attack the nest has faced.
The osprey parents, named Rachel and Steve, lost their entire brood last year in another siege.
Kress was shocked that an eagle would be so bold to snag a chick that was just days away from taking its first flight.
“I didn’t realize they’d take chicks that big, but now we know they do,” he said.
Despite the viciousness the video capture, the National Audubon Society says it’s also a great study in how animal instinct works.
Ness notes that one chick escaped the threat by jumping out of the nest, marking the bird’s first attempt at flight, while another chick in the rear of the nest shrunk down to make itself a smaller target.
The National Audubon Society says the video, along with other reported attacks, could signify bald eagle populations are rebounding in the U.S. northeast.