An eagle surprised nature photographer Doug Gemmell by swooping down over a parking lot rather than the usual body of water where eagles typically catch fish.
As Gemmell watched through his lens, the eagle grabbed something with its talons and flew away. At first, Gemmell couldn’t see what the eagle had grabbed due to a snowbank in the foreground.
Bald eagles are known for their diet of fish, but they are opportunistic predators and will eat a variety of prey including small mammals, birds, and even carrion.
Gemmell later reviewed the photos he had taken. It was then he realized that the prey that the bald eagle had swooped down to grab was a half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza.
“I did not know what the eagle picked up until I went back home. When I cropped in on some of the photos, I could see it was a half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza.”
It seems that the half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza caught the eagle’s attention and was deemed suitable as a meal by the bird.
“I thought, ‘Wow. That is very cool,’ when I saw pizza in her talons. That is not something you see every day, that’s for sure.”
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The story of the bald eagle snatching a half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza from a parking lot is a reminder of how adaptable and opportunistic animals can be.
Although bald eagles are known for their preference for fish, this juvenile eagle seemed to have spotted an opportunity to snatch a different type of food.
The incident also highlights the role of chance in nature photography. Gemmell was lucky to have captured the moment when the eagle grabbed the pizza, even though he did not immediately realize what it was.
This unpredictability and element of surprise are what makes nature photography so thrilling and rewarding.
While it is unclear whether the eagle ate the pizza or not, the incident shows that animals can find food in unexpected places, and they can adapt their diets to take advantage of available resources.
It also shows the importance of being mindful of our waste and the impact it can have on wildlife.
“With nature photography, things happen so fast that you don’t always know exactly what you just took a photo of. Then when you get the chance to look at the photos, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised that you captured something you had no idea was even there at the time.”