Bald eagle vs. Canada goose: Scuffle between symbolic birds caught on camera
Published Monday, June 6, 2016 12:04PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 6, 2016 12:31PM PDT
Some are calling it the latest symbolic battle between Canada and the United States – but it didn’t take place on the ice.
An amateur photographer from Bowser, B.C. snapped a series of once-in-a-lifetime photos when she caught a bald eagle terrorizing a Canada goose.
Lisa Bell was vacationing with her family at Spider Lake Springs, near Qualicum Beach, over the weekend when she spotted an eagle swoop down and land right on top of the goose, pinning it to the ground.
“There was a whole bunch of noise to begin with,” she recalled. “The eagle was sitting on the goose. I scooted to get my camera, and when I came back down he was still there. The goose basically was playing dead.”
She started snapping photos of the unusual showdown hoping for a happy ending to the story. She got it.
“The eagle went to adjust itself, and the goose’s back end came up,” she said. “The eagle was having a hard time keeping the goose down, and he managed to break free.”
The clever goose took off, with the eagle chasing behind, and launched itself into a nearby pond, diving under the water.
Bell said the eagle doubled back, swooped the goose once more unsuccessfully, and then flew off to a nearby tree.
“It’s nature, it’s spectacular actually,” she said. “You’re rooting for the goose and seeing what’s going to happen.”
She said a second eagle arrived a few minutes too late, and perched in the tree with the attacker.
“They stuck around for a good hour,” she said.
Bell posted the photos to Facebook, where they’ve already racked up 264 shares.
Many were amazed at the clear, close-up photos of the fight, while at least one person questioned why the photographer didn’t step in to help the goose.
“That was nature taking its course and there’s not much I can do about it,” Bell said. “He was hungry. You look at it from the eagle’s point of view and they have babies to feed as well.”
Others who shared the photos noted the symbolic significance of a bald eagle, America’s symbol of freedom, doing battle with an iconic Canadian bird.
“America – 1, Canada – 0,” one commenter wrote. “Battle of the Birds: America vs. Canada,” wrote another.
Bell said the Goose swam around the pond for a while after it happened, and appeared to only suffer a few minor talon scratches in the scuffle.