When the bald eagle (above) attempted to steal a ground squirrel from the golden eagle in the second and third photos, it became an aerial battle.
Yesterday, I feared I’d be seeing another, more personal battle – over a teal that I had just shot. As my retriever, Lola, approached the downed bird, my hunting partner, Tom Billingsley, uttered the words, “Bald eagle,” as he looked upward.
Sure enough a bald eagle had just passed overhead flying in Lola’s direction. It was an eagle we had seen many times in the past. As the bird dropped lower and circled Lola with the dead green-wing teal, I felt some trepidation.
My next thought was that Lola would probably just give the bird up, but what if she didn’t? I was thinking about firing a shot into the air to scare the eagle away.
Then a pair of teal flew past and I fired at the birds twice. One of them seemed to be wounded and the eagle immediately took up the chase, leaving Lola to retrieve the dead bird that lay in the water at her feet.
I was happy to have my dog back unharmed.