The birds of prey get into frequent tussles that can lead to serious injury.
Majestic as they are, bald eagles can lead surprisingly scrappy lives. In addition to aerial battles waged over territory, the birds sometimes wield their sharp talons while tussling over a bite of fish.
Photographer Christian Sasse recently captured an eagle altercation in slow motion in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, part of the Aleutian Islands.
The video shows a juvenile eagle with mottled colors swooping into a group of birds and slamming into an adult eagle calmly picking at a fish. The adult, knocked backward in a melee of froth and feathers, is nearly completely submerged—but manages to right itself.
"The talons of the juvenile barely missed the eyes of the adult—no wonder I saw eagles with injured eyes," says Sasse. These chaotic and fierce interactions can often leave birds with broken beaks and feet, as well as gashes on the face.