Aerial Majesty and Might: Brave Eagle Dares to Challenge Crane for Its Lunch, Prompting a Thrilling Dance of Evasive Action

A red-crowned crane and an eagle take part in a spectacular mid-air fight as other birds watch on.

The fight, which was watched from below by around 100 other cranes, lasted only a few seconds before the eagle admitted defeat and flew away – without the fish.

A red-crowned crane and an eagle take part in a spectacular mid-air fight over a fish as other birds watch on at a nature reserve in Japan

The two majestic birds used their feet to claw at each other after the eagle tried to snatch a fish from the much larger crane

The white-tailed eagle tried to steal a fish from the crane, one of the world’s largest measuring 1.6m tall and with a wingspan of up to 2.5m

The fight, watched from below by around 100 other cranes, ended when the eagle admitted defeat and flew away – without the fish

‘These two were fighting for the fish that were scattered on the snow by the centre employees.’

Photographer Ciming Mei was at the Akan International Crane Centre, in Kushiro, Japan, when she saw the battle break out

The eagles swoops down among the red-crowned cranes, an endangered species whose numbers total less than 3,000 in the world

The red-crowned cranes, an endangered species whose numbers total less than 3,000 in the world, are fed in Kushiro from November to March when food for the animals is scarce.

Cranes dancing before the Eagle swoops down. Feeding the cranes at the centre during the colder months began in 1950 when severe winter storms meant food shortages almost drove the birds into extinction

The cranes are fed in Kushiro from November to March when food for the animals is scarce

Sia

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