Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eagle attack

Yesterday I went ice fishing on Ririe Reservoir for kokanee and trout.  It had been slow for the last two weeks for me, so I decided to take one more trip to see if fishing had improved.  It was spitting snow and the wind was cold so I set up my ice shelter.

I had caught a trout when a school of kokanee came in.  I had caught four and threw them out on the ice as I tried to continue catching them.  I heard a swooshing sound and saw two bald eagles fly by the shelter picking up two of my kokanee.  My camera was in my sled outside and I was minus two of my fish.

I was surprised that the eagles would dive within eight feet of my red shelter to pick up my fish.  A fisherman about a hundred yards up the lake told me an eagle had stolen a fish from another fisherman during the week and had been so close that it wing had hit the man.  It was probably the one of the two that raided me.

I had moved one of my rods about 30 feet away to fish some rocks for trout while I continued catching kokanee.  I had just caught a trout when the man yelled at me that an eagle was coming.  I dropped the fish and ran for my camera.

Here is what I got from this attack:



At about 12 feet away, I messed up some of the pictures as the eagle was moving too fast and the sky was very cloudy and dark.




I did not get another trout, but went home with a trout and six kokanee. 

The most important things I went home with was images and memories of another great day in the Wilds of Idaho.

18 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Wow, awesome series on the eagle. It must have been a cool experience to see these eagles stealing your fish. I hope these fish were not your dinner that night.

Lois Evensen said...

How very cool!!!! Those eagles are pretty smart to be able to get humans for fish for them!

Barb said...

Bill, These are fabulous captures - what a rare encounter. Thanks for providing dinner for the eagle. You also live in a gorgeous wilderness state!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, what a photograph. That eagle is certainly opportunistic.

My brother-in-law in Colorado snapped some photos of an eagle stealing a praire dog from a hawk. My sister put the pics on her blog http://ellensnewblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/in-our-own-backyard.html

What's the deal? Are eagles giving up catching their own food?

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh My Gosh...Oh My Goodness, what a spectacular altercation you had...that would just be so thrilling...let those Eagles have every fish their hearts desire, so long as they give you images of this caliber...these are so amazing...They take my breath away...I am just blown away at the way nature hands us something beautiful, when we never even anticipate it...beautiful, Beautiful! Congratulations~

Bill said...

Incredible pictures and an equally incredible encounter! There are eagles in these parts once again, but I don't think they're quite so cunning....yet.

SandyCarlson said...

These are some amazing photos.

Gaelyn said...

Wow, I've known fishermen, but never any who fish for the eagles. What an amazing experience. Sure glad you had the camera handy that second visit. Dang birds don't hold still like a landscape. These shots are Great.

Veronica Wald said...

1 trout, 6 kokanee, and some terrific eagle action shots!! I think this is why the Founding Fathers felt the bald eagle was an inappropriate symbol for the nation - they're notorious thieves!

Carol said...

What a nice series of the Bald Eagle. I can't even get a good shot of one in flight..let alone a series of one fishing.

Mrs. Buus said...

I fish in MT and had a Bald Eagle swoop near our fish. Woke the boys up. BTW; picked up a copy of your Henry's Lake Book. I never put it down until I finished it. Thanks for the insight. Hope to see you on the Lake in a few months.

Shirleyanne said...

Such brilliant photos Bill! Although I very nearly got another jumper when you mentioned the word 'Ice'! We've been realitly lucky in the Uk regarding weather this winter. Thank you for your kind comments! Take care!

Carletta said...

What a day for you Bill!
Fish and eagle shots!!
Congrats on some awesome shots!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

Your last paragraph says it all! What a wonderful day.

Island Rambles Blog said...

Really great shots of the eagle coming and getting the fish..probably the eagle has learned how to get fish from people as they are scavengers....people here sometimes throw fish out for the eagles.

troutbirder said...

Wow. That is something. I got buzzed once, inadvertantly coming to close to a nest in the spring while focusing too much on the stream trout.

Janie said...

Amazing shots! Not many people have witnessed something like this, much less had the chance to photograph it.

Grayquill said...

Better than awesome...WOW - what a moment! Thanks for sharing. Very Nice!