On 23rd December 2008, KN Pan posted his series of dramatic images of a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) diving down to pick up a terrapin.
KN is of the opinion that “either it has mistaken this tortoise for a fish, or it was really hungry! As it was raining at that time, the ripples even made it harder for it to see. I am not sure if refractions… affect the bird’s hunt…”
There were two pairs of eagles fishing then. Unfortunately KN arrived 10 minutes late. He missed photographing the first eagle that missed its catch twice! It did touch the water. He reported that this eagle dived vertically down.
Although it could not be established without a doubt that the prey was a Red-Eared Terrapin, KN thinks it most probable as these are plentiful in the lake.
This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.