I witnessed a bizarre scene on the James River in Richmond, VA, USA (1000 yards west of Mayo Bridge if you want to examine Google Maps). It was on a large rock in the middle of the river, where nearly 2 dozen vultures had congregated. There were so many I couldn't tell if they were atop some carcas, but I couldn't see one from 75 yards away.
Now here's the weird part. There was a large bald eagle that seemed to be vying for the rock. Eagle would swoop in onto the rock, look around like "Oh, s*** this is more vultures than I thought!". The vultures (at least those closest to the Eagle) would beat their wings and eventually the eagle would change position or retreat to prepare for another dive bomb. Eventually, the eagle flew away.
Some important details:
- There was a treeline about 300 yards from the rock, and there may have been a nest there. Not likely, but possible. Assuming this was a mother w/ chicks, maybe a chick tried flying and ended up dying on a nearby rock?
- A lady walking passed said that vultures were "all over the place" this time of year on the river. Not sure how credible of a claim this was.
- No recent flooding, and the shad (fish) are still running in this area.
- The vultures didn't seem "busy"; they looked like they were just hanging out waiting for something to happen.
Any hypotheses on what was going on here? In my vast 26 years of life, I've never seen anything like this.