Every fall, hundreds of bald eagles gather to feed on shad being chopped up in Maryland’s Conowingo Dam, says Brian Kushner. The abundance has earned it the reputation among photographers as “the best place to shoot eagles east of the Mississippi,” he says. In a frenzy of activity, the eagles feed off and on for hours, while Kushner spends anywhere from four to five hours shooting 1,000 frames. He says he usually ends up deleting about 975 of those, keeping only the very best—like this fantastic shot of a bald eagle, seen gripping its dinner in clenched talons.

This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here

*This article was clarified to reflect that Conowingo Dam is located east of the Mississippi.

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