A photographer has captured remarkable images of a hapless young eagle losing a fierce battle with a snake – and then returning to the same spot to gobble up another serpent.
The short-toed snake eagle suffered a nasty bite to its beak when it lost a battle that was caught on camera by Druvadeep Kusumaharan in Bangalore, India.
But it appears the bird learned its lesson as it swallowed a snake whole just three days later when Kusumaharan was snapping photos in the same area.
Druvadeep Kusumaharan captured these remarkable images of a young short-toed snake eagle being bitten by a snake
The snake managed to bite the bird’s beak during a fierce struggle that lasted around 15 seconds, the photographer said
Kusumaharan photographed the bird’s failed and successful hunts in the grassland near his home in Bangalore, India
Three days after it lost its battle with a rat snake, the same juvenile bird returned and swallowed another snake whole
Kusumaharan, 30, captured both the botched and fruitful hunts on grasslands near his home last March after spending nearly three months following the bird.
The information security professional, who has spent six years photographing species across India, said he was thrilled when the eagle managed to make a successful kill.
He said: ‘When I first showed my images to my friends and family they were surprised, as they had not seen anything like this before.
A few even challenged me, telling these were digitally-manipulated images and were not real.
‘But after showing them the complete series and explaining the photos, they were convinced and congratulated me for documenting rare and raw nature at its best.’
Kusumaharan began watching the juvenile eagle after spotting it moving out of its parents’ nest and beginning to hunt snakes on its own.
Kusumaharan began watching the eagle after spotting it moving out of its parents’ nest and beginning to hunt on its own
Short-toed snake eagles eat snakes, small mammals and lizards, but this bird is still learning to hunt, said Kusumaharan
Days after the failed hunt, the eagle successfully took down a smaller snake, to the photographer’s delight
Short-toed snake eagles feed on snakes, small mammals and lizards, but Kusumaharan said initially the bird was not experienced enough to size up its prey and would try to hunt everything, regardless of size.