Power and Grace

I shot this sequence along the James River in Henrico, Virginia.

Observing eagles fishing a river is a textbook lesson in efficiency. Numerous different birds but one common method. The movements are so compact and fluid, so focused, there appears to be no wasted energy. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. It starts with a slow, drifting, circling pattern above the water using it’s incredible eyesight to scan for prey.

An eagle can spot a rabbit from almost 2 miles.

Once it’s quarry has been located, the bird’s legs drop down and the dive begins. A Golden Eagle has been known to accelerate this glide into a controlled dive of over 155 mph.

Swooping in at an angle, and rarely coming up empty, the bird plucks the fish from the water with it’s huge talons.

I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions an eagle glancing down at it’s talons after a catch to make sure the fish is secure before flying off.

While not all creatures are so perfectly and dramatically adapted to their task at hand, eagles, along with many other animals, share a common sense of efficiency, pureness of purpose, and focus that I find wildly fascinating.

“Nature is neither cruel nor kind, but utterly indifferent to all suffering. But nature and human nature are not one and the same. There’s a practical reason for everything in nature. There is no intention of cruelty, only survival. Evil for evil’s sake is an invention of man.”

Darwinist Richard Dawkins

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