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On Friday July 2 Joe Foreman and I were witness to an extraordinary aerial display over Norfolk Botanical Garden by the two bald eagle fledglings banded ND and NE. I urge you to look at the photos that Joe posted July 2 on www.norfolkeagles.com under Photographer’s Nest as they add to the photos posted here.
So just what was going on? What was this spectular aerial display all about? The life of a bald eagle is challenging. That life is all about survival. Those most prepared to face the challenges of finding food, weather conditions, competition from other eagles and defending one’s self and territory are most likely going to survive. I have been fortunate to travel to the arctic several times. Yesterday’s bald eagle aerial jousting reminded me of watching young polar bears “sparring” – engaging in mock battle – training to defend themselves – survival of the fittest.
In the photos above, you first see ND being the aggressor and attacking NE. Then NE returns the favor and goes after ND (notice in photo 4 that the crop of NE is very full). In the last two ND is again the aggressor, but in the end it was ND that turned tail and flew off toward Shore Drive and NE flew to a tree at “the dump”. It is as important to know when to call it quits as it is to know when to engage in battle. During this 10-minute engagement, valuable survival skills were learned.