Ever seen an eagle lifting a huge monitor lizard? Early bird gets the worm but an early eagle gets a monitor lizard!!
It was like a 'Discovery Channel' or 'NatGeo' event for me when I saw this rare event when an eagle lifted a huge Monitor lizard clean off ground and carried it away !
Mighty eagle lifts off 15 pound monitor lizard!
As I have stated before, when I click eagles, I like to be high up with them on mountains so that I can take eye level shots. Especially, the Bonelli's eagle, with it's majestic wing span of more than 5 feet is a pleasure to watch as it glides past green valleys...
Hunter on the move!
I must admit though, that the same eagle, on ground too, looks awesome! It is not usually seen on ground - unless it has a kill and is eating it!
Imagine my surprise then, as I roamed around on a hilly grassland, looking for other raptors, when I saw this huge eagle sitting on ground amid tufts of grass!
Imposing eagle on ground - why?
As this mighty hunter does not eat grasshoppers in the grass, I was wondering why it was sitting there.
Taking a careful look at it's feet, I saw some movement there and realized it was something alive and the eagle was just pinning it down prior to taking off with its prey!!
I barely thought about this when the eagle started moving. Breathless with anticipation, I started a burst of shutter and captured the action with more than 1/1000s shutter speed!
Flapping it's wings, the eagle readjusted it's grip on the prey and I saw that it was a fully grown monitor lizard.
The lizard, a powerful muscular reptile, was not giving up lightly and was trying to hold on with it's claws digging in the ground. However, the eagle took a firm grip on it with it's claws completely encircling the lizard...
Just look at the size of those claws!
Then the eagle gave one mighty heave and lifted the prey - a huge monitor lizard clean off ground with one leg! Wow - what strength!
Wow - lifting a monitor lizard with one leg!!
In the next instant, the eagle took off - carrying the lizard smoothly as if it was a toy!
I will take my lunch to go please
While I was impressed with the eagles display of sheer power so far, I expected it to fly low and settle nearby to eat because it is not easy to carry a 15 lb lizard...
However, the eagle just displayed even more spectacular power of it's strong wings and flew high to the hill top!
Sheer wing power! Flying high with a 15 lb load!
Near the edge of the hill-top, the eagle landed and sat on it's prey - looking Happy and triumphant!
The triumphant hunter - flapping wings and sounding off!
I left the eagle to eat in peace thereafter and retreated. Eagles are not always successful in their hunts and sometimes they go hungry if we disturb them while they are with their prey.
All this happened in seconds. I was lucky to witness it and super happy that I managed to capture it.
Days of roaming grasslands and hillsides had paid off. I have a series of wonderful action shots which I am sure, are very rare to find for anyone! It is not just patience and perseverance but also the technique of tracking wildlife and of course the right technology with a high shutter speed camera.
What do you think ? Do you think it was worth it? Have you attempted or would you attempt anything like this in photography?
Please comment freely and let me know your opinion. I will try to bring many different types of wildlife photos/macro/Astro posts to the community. Feedback and comments are welcome,. I am still learning many techniques and always value feedback from experts in this community.
Have a nice day everyone. Cheers!