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The Noble Bald Eagle

Updated: Apr 16

A Thrilling Bald Eagle Battle

Bald Eagles, Saginaw County

As an avid bird watcher and lover of all creatures, it is a truly unique experience to observe Bald Eagles. On this day, I went to check out one of the nests in Saginaw County. Mama was sitting in the nest, with Dad perched on a branch not far away. He seemed anxious, and kept glancing upwards, as if expecting something to happen. The Eagles were incredibly vocal, going back and forth, their voices alert and distressed.

Bald Eagle at rest

I was so focused on capturing their nobility and severe expressions that I didn’t realize what was about to happen. I kept snapping away, and I’m so glad I did.

The Challenger

Seemingly out of nowhere, a third Eagle appeared and, wings flapping, issued a challenge to the proud papa I was watching. The father of the nest rose up to meet his opposer. The two males locked talons and tumbled end over end down the tree, never hitting the ground.


The challenger flew off with urgency, the other in hot pursuit. I realized my own heart was racing, and I was glued to my camera trying to remember to keep snapping. The anticipation to see which bird would emerge victorious was thrilling. I knew I couldn’t leave until I saw this contest resolved.

The Victor

I stood, riveted, for around a half hour, just waiting. Finally, one of the males returned. Judging by the interaction with the nesting mother, it must have been her mate. They called back and forth, perhaps recounting a battle won.

Bald Eagle on rocky outcrop

Bald Eagle resting on a rock at Eagle Harbor

The Return

The Eagles seemed to settle cautiously, but the opposing Eagle returned, soaring just over the treetops about a quarter mile away. The brave father leapt into action one last time, and I gathered my things, confident he’d return safely, finally having fended off the fiend.


Needless to say, this day’s events were downright stressful, but I’m thrilled I was able to capture the experience on camera. Have you ever seen Eagles locked in battle? What would you have done in my shoes?


Fun fact: while Eagles are notorious loners, every now and then they’ll band together to hunt, or even play a game of mid-air catch with sticks, rocks, or detritus from the forest floor!


Want to see more incredible creatures? Visit my gallery here.

Live wildly,


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