The battle of the birds is on, so choose your side and let the feathers fly.


Wildlife photographer Adam Fichna captured this showdown between a thieving grey heron and a common buzzard near the Polish village of Olza back in 2013.

Concealed in a nearby wildlife hide, Fichna had been filming several buzzards feasting on carrion when a long-legged guest joined the party. If we had to wager a guess, we'd get behind the much larger heron in this fight (those dagger-like bills are not to be trifled with). But this buzzard was not about to relinquish the spoils.

Both birds are of the predatory variety, but herons typically acquire their meals – like fish, amphibians and various insects – by wading into shallow waters, so whatever the buzzard was feasting on must have been pretty tempting.

As you can see, common buzzards (Buteo buteo) can be very territorial, and will fiercely defend their catch from other birds – and from each other.


Top header image: Dirk, Flickr