With talons out and wings spread, a furious owl launched an all-out attack at a hawk who had perched himself near the owl’s nest and the two quickly came to blows in a ferocious mid-air clash.
Having kept a close eye on the hungry red-shouldered hawk as it circled looking for a meal, the barred owl fixated on his enemy when it landed. Within moments, the owl had launched himself towards its rival and a mid-air battle promptly ensued, with the owl ripping out hawk feathers with its talons.
Photographer Marina Scarr was on hand to capture the rare bird battle in her hometown of Sarasota in Florida.
2. Locking eyes with its adversary, the owl lashed out at the hungry hawk near Sarasota, Florida. The dramatic images were captured by photographer Marina Scarr.
Every winter a pair of barred owls nest near my friend’s home. I was photographing one of the pair when a red-shouldered hawk appeared and perched nearby. The owl instantly locked eyes with the hawk and I sensed trouble, preparing myself for action by quickly switching to a shorter lens. Within seconds the owl attacked the hawk that had been peacefully perched nearby.
And it was an awesome encounter.
Though the owl came away with talons-full of hawk feathers, Scarr said that neither raptor was seriously harmed during the fight. The hawk, however, left empty handed after the fight. She said:
After the fact I realized it was nesting season for these owls and they must have had eggs or owlets nearby.
Scarr added that her experience growing up as an avid birdwatcher had prepared her to capture the fight. She said:
It’s important as a photographer to study your subjects and their behavior while in the field. It helps to make you better equipped to anticipate action such as this.
And she has done an amazing job capturing this fight.
3. Clutching the hawk with its talons the owl ripped feathers from the hawk which then retreated empty handed and hungry.
4. Neither bird appeared to be injured in the fight, Scarr said.
Here is a slow motion video of an owl on the attack (related):
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