Crow Hitches a Ride on Eagle’s Back, Lucky Photographer Captures the Moment

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No, this is not Photoshop. A very lucky, and very talented California-based bird photographer, Phoo Chan, whose photos have been featured by National Geographic, captured an amazing once-in-a-lifetime series of photos of a crow hitching a ride on an eagle’s back. It landed and rode on the back of a bald eagle right in mid-flight.

Apparently, the larger bird of prey was hunting for a snack in the skies over Seabeck, Washington, when the cheeky crow spied an opportunity. The encounter lasted only a few seconds before the birds parted and went their separate ways.

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Photo Credits (all): Phoo Chan

Of his impressive photos, Chan explained, “Crows are known for aggressively harassing other raptors that are much bigger in size when spotted in their territories and usually these ‘intruders’ simply retreat without much fuss. However, in this frame the crow did not seem to harass the bald eagle at such close proximity and neither did the bald eagle seem to mind the crow’s presence invading its personal space. What made it even more bizarre was that the crow even made a brief stop on the back of the eagle as if it was taking a free scenic ride and the eagle simply obliged.”

Chan told the U.K.’s Daily Mail, “I think the crow decided to land on the eagle because the eagle did not respond to its harassment so it landed briefly and then left.

“Eventually the crow flew away and the eagle continued to hunt for its breakfast. They both flew in different directions and it looked like they became friends.”