Harrier and owl fight caught on camera

Two weeks ago, on November 7, bird photographer Tom Tully shot a fantastic series of images showing a brief fight between a Northern Harrier and a Short-eared Owl.

The scene unfolded above a tidal marsh on Fir Island, which lies between the north and south fork of the Skagit River in northwestern Washington State. (The Skagit River Flats was the first birding hotspot featured in our magazine, when it was called Birder’s World, back in February 1987.)

We’re happy to share several of Tom’s photos in the slideshow below.

Harrier with the high ground

Harrier with the high ground

At this point, the harrier loomed above its rival. Harriers seem to be year-round residents of the region, while Short-ears are present from late October through mid-spring, Tom says.

Read about birding hotspots in Washington State