- Photo Essay -

While out exploring the River Lakes Conservation Area along the St. John's River in Brevard Florida I happened to get to a location at just the time someone was needed to record this moment in nature.

When I first came upon the scene it was just a Crested Caracara family breakfasting on an unknown  carcass. 

An adult watches for trouble as the rest of the family tries to get their fill before that trouble arrives.

The first intruder to arrive is a Turkey Vulture. It is formidable but it's only danger is that it will steal some choice morsels.  

Suddenly, one of the adults goes on alert and takes to the air

The Caracara practices basic aerial combat by coming in from above, The tactic startles the Eagle but has little lasting effect. 

The Eagle takes a position 30 yards from the carcass and watches the goings on for a few minutes.

Before long the Eagle makes his move and the Caracara's are powerless to stop it from taking what it wants.

I didn't know at this point what the carcass was, but when I zoomed in for this shot I thought, "It's a monkey hand! Where did they find a monkey?" Of course it wasn't a monkey but an Opossum, but it sure looked like a monkies hand.

The appendage soon disappears down the Eagles throat, under the watchful eye of a Caracara.

Not satisfied with his opossum arm the Eagle drags the carcass out of the ditch in hopes of stealing the whole meal.

Several attempts were made by the Eagle to fly away with the Opossum, but it was just too heavy. Finally the Eagle flies off leaving the carcass for the Caracara's. 

The End.

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