Eagle vs. Eagle in Mid-air

Eagle vs. Eagle in Mid-air

As this white-bellied sea eagle feeds its young near Borneo another eagle appears; an intruder, a threat, a menace to the family’s safety. It’s time for a major turf battle. First a simple warning; it doesn’t work. The home team does reconnaissance. Things go from bad to worse. The habitat crasher now blatantly rips off a fish. He wants a fight. The female means to give him one. The two eagles get into a mid-air tug of war. She’s just taking his measure. The real battle is about to begin.
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The two males square off. Like World War I fighter pilots the eagles climb and climb, each trying to get a height advantage on the other. They come at each other and lock talons and begin a helicoptering decent called whirling. This time they break it off, but they’re not done with each other yet. This whirligig is to see who stays and who goes. Like a crazy game of chicken the whirling eagles plummet toward the earth, each daring the other to be the first to unlock talons. Both hold on until the intruder acknowledges his defeat; time to move on. The home team celebrates the victory with a triumphant glide over their now secure home turf.
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