Intelligence outsmarts "just being smart"

Eagle breaks the ice
Nikon D300s, Sigma 50-500mm / f4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM

This photo bears a lot of information. First it proves that the fish were smart because they were hiding under the ice from any predators. Second, the eagles were outsmarting them by cracking the ice with their talons and catching the fish anyway. It also tells the story about how fast it happened. The eagle seems to be already more than a meter away from the hole in the ice it just created, but the bits and pieces of the cracked ice were still flying in the air. If a Bald Eagle starts to fly a curve and is descending at the same time you just know the bird may come down eventually and strike. You never know how and where it may happen. All what the "poor" photographer can do is to keep the autofocus sensor on the eagle's chest. Why the chest? It's on the same focal plane as the eye, which needs to be sharp, and the chances to follow your subject with the sensor are much higher this way. Quite often the eagles just picked up a fish that the Ring-billed Gulls had dropped a few seconds before, and so I wasn't really questioning why the eagles came down over the ice and not over the water. But it wasn't until I reviewed my images at home, that I discovered that the Bald Eagles actually broke the ice in order to catch the fish below. I think it is just amazing and increases my desire to study these wonderful birds of prey even more.