Warning. Graphic details of nature that are not for the faint of heart...
Winters grasp has had us here in southern Minnesota for the last 2-3 weeks, temps well below zero. Our creek out back continues to run, offering wildlife a small bit of open water that has been an animal attraction. Activity has evidently increased. Yesterday a dozen or so Mallards took advantage of this open water and congregated in a small area. In the early afternoon two bald eagles descended out of the sky and crashed the Mallards swimming party. One eagle was successful in snagging a Mallard and flew up out of the creek with one locked in its talons. It flew 50 yds or so upstream where it landed on the ground and began devouring its catch. The other eagle circled overhead waiting for the opportunity to snatch up what may be left behind. In-between mouthfuls of bird, the eagle on the ground was quite vocal at the other in the sky above, letting it know there will not be enough to share. After 5 minutes of this, the one with the catch flies off to a more secluded area to finish its lunch, out of direct threat from the less successful eagle flying overhead.
With my hands full of binoculars during this episode, and the distance of the activity, I did not get any good pictoral documentation of this. After it was all said and done, my son went out scouted the area. He did snap a picture of where the eagle landed on the banks of the creek. You can see the outline of its wings below. Nothing to show of the Mallard.