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.

More fighting

More fighting

"They both hunt in the marshes throughout the area, primarily for voles," Tom says. "Sharing territory and prey, they often become aggressive toward each other, usually just chasing and divebombing. This particular bout got very intense."

Read about birding hotspots in Washington State