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Charlie Shugart wrote:
Wow! by a factor of 10X.
Herb, these are wonderful.
Among the several eagle "food-fight" images I've seen, those lethal talons never seem directed at the other birds- but only at the food (usually fish).
I suspect that on a subconscious level, birds of prey realize the damage that can be done by their talons, and because of some unconscious realization that hurting each other would ultimately be bad for the species, they avoid such contact when merely competing for food.
I don't mean this in a conscious anthropomorphic way- strictly in a subconscious "instinctive-behavior" way.
Thanks for the comments Charlie. I've seen and photographed the eagles many times going after each other, even after the fish was dropped. Here's an example: the New York female banded S 04 ( locally known as Sophie) attacks another eagle with a fish. The eagle drops the fish, but Sophie still continues full steam to attack her competition. She has no concern for the fish. Many eagles get injuries from other eagles from fighting, i.e, missing feathers, eyes, etc.