Tales from Zambia by Phil Branham
In August of 2013, Patrick and I found a Tawny Eagle one day sitting on top of a dead tree in the early morning light. We were quite close so we stopped to photograph him and suddenly a Blacksmith Plover (a ground nesting bird) starting diving at him from behind and grapping his head feathers. Then the Plover started attacking him from the front and the eagle got really mad and tried biting on each pass made by the Plover.
Look at the expression on the eagles face in the enlargement below, very expressive and angry!
This continued for around 5 to 10 minutes and after making over 20 to 30 passes the Plover got tired and sat on the ground calling for 5 minutes before finally giving up and flying away.
Then after enduring his torment from the much smaller bird, the eagle left right after the Plover! This sequence produced some great photos. I have seen small birds harass eagles and other larger birds before but the continuous non-stop attacks were unique for me. Patrick and I just sat there laughing and enjoying a truly wonderful scene.
Guest at Kaingo and Mwamba in August 2013