A woman visiting a Virginia Beach golf club says she watched in “awe” as a stunning mid-air battle played out between an eagle and rabbit.
Jennifer Began of Hampton, Virginia, told the Charlotte Observer she first thought the eagle was dragging a log in its talons over the 18-hole Honey Bee Golf Course.
Then she noticed the “dangling log” was struggling.
“I was in complete awe,” says Began, noting it happened 9 a.m. on March 30. “I was the only one there, but I still kind of looked around to see if anyone else was seeing this happen. My mouth was literally hanging open in surprise.”
Even after the eagle reached its nest in a loblolly pine, the rabbit continued to fight. Began, an amateur photographer, caught much of the battle with her camera.
“The eagle...held the rabbit down by the neck with its beak wide open almost in a defensive manner until the rabbit stopped moving,” she told the Charlotte Observer. “Then it picked it back up, circled right over my head and back to the nest.”
Turns out two baby eagles and a mate were waiting to be fed in the nest, she said.
“The eagle that brought it in perched on a branch about a foot from the nest and watched over them as they ate,” Began said.
She posted her photos on Facebook and they have been widely shared, with the nearby Lago Mar on the Back Bay community in Virginia calling them “astounding.”
“It’s honestly been quite surreal,” she said, “and it’s given me a boost of confidence to keep shooting and have patience and perseverance.”
Began says she’s been visiting the golf club for several months, and has become accustomed to seeing the nesting eagles carrying nesting materials and the occasional “half eaten” fish in their talons.
That made the struggle with the rabbit all the more amazing, she said.
“I go there a few times each week on my lunch breaks just hoping for a shot, more often than not, my timing isn’t in line with theirs,” she said.