Bald eagle fights fox in incredible midair tussle

A photographer has captured a truly remarkable midair tussle between a bald eagle and a red fox fighting over a rabbit.

The photo, which was taken by Kevin Ebi, was awarded a “Professional Honorable Mention” in the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards.

The stunning picture was taken at the San Juan Island National Historical Park, Friday Harbor, Wash.

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“I had spent the day photographing foxes and was panning with this kit running with its prey when an unmistakable cry made me look up,” explained Ebi in a statement. “I just knew the eagle racing our way was after the fox’s rabbit.”

The photo shows a bald eagle and a red fox fighting in midair over a rabbit in San Juan Island National Historical Park in Washington state.

The photo shows a bald eagle and a red fox fighting in midair over a rabbit in San Juan Island National Historical Park in Washington state. (Kevin Ebi/Audubon Photography Awards)

“I expected to have only a split second to capture the theft in one explosive frame; instead the eagle snagged the fox and rabbit, carrying both 20 feet off the ground,” he added. “After eight seconds it dropped the fox, seemingly unharmed, and flew away with its stolen dinner.”

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Ebi used a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera with a Canon EF 600mm f/4 IS lens to record the incredible battle between the two animals.

The photo has been grabbing plenty of attention. The National Audubon Society’s national photography director, Sabine Meyer, told the BBC that Ebi’s shot is an image “where everything coalesces into this perfect picture.”

Other eagle pictures have also gone viral in recent months. Earlier this year a stunning photo of a bald eagle captured by an amateur photographer became an Internet sensation.

Steve Biro captured the remarkable picture at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Norfolk County, Ontario, in May. In the photo, the majestic bird’s reflection can be seen in a body of water, its wingtip feathers just touching the surface as it looks intently ahead.

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Bald eagles were removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened species in 2007. The iconic birds are now flourishing across America, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This story has been corrected to remove a reference to film processing.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers