During a recent outing with his camera, Doug Gemmell, a nature photographer, witnessed a picture-perfect moment unfolding before him. Through his lens, Doug watched as a juvenile bald eagle, without its characteristic white feathers on its head, flew down towards the ground with its sharp talons poised for attack, showcasing its impressive hunting skills.
To Doug’s surprise, the target of the eagle’s hunt that day was something unexpected.
The primary food source for bald eagles typically consists of fish, which they skillfully catch from bodies of water. However, during Doug’s observation, the eagle he was watching descended towards a parking lot instead. It seemed that the bird had spotted a different type of meal and decided to go for it. Though Doug’s view was somewhat hindered by a snowbank in the foreground, he was able to take pictures of the eagle carrying away its coveted prey in its firm grasp. Later on, after reviewing the photos, Doug discovered the delightful truth about what the eagle had caught.
“I didn’t know what [the bird] picked up until I went back home,” the photographer told The Dodo. “When I cropped in on some of the photos, I could see it was a half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza.”
Upon seeing the pizza held tightly in the eagle’s talons, Doug expressed his amazement, stating “Wow, that is very cool!” He added that it’s not something one sees every day. Doug remains uncertain as to whether the bald eagle consumed the pizza or had second thoughts about eating her parking lot discovery. Nevertheless, capturing the moment with his camera was a memory that Doug cherishes.
“Things happen so fast [while photographing ] that you don’t always know exactly what you just snapped of [a photo],” Doug said. “Then when you get the chance to look at the photos, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised.”