An amateur photographer has captured one of nature’s most spectacular sights on camera.
Colin Black, from Aberdeen, was taking pictures close to the top of Glenshee on earlier this week when he spotted a golden eagle swooping down to attack a red deer.
The deer was too large for the bird of prey to do any real damage but Mr Black rushed to ensure he caught the moment.
The music instructor said: “I was not too far from the ski centre when I spotted the bird, I’d seen an eagle before so was sure that’s what it was.
“I didn’t have time to set up my camera as I would have liked which is why the photos are slightly blurred.
“It happened so quickly and it was also about half a mile away so I knew I had to act quickly.
“There was no one else around and I couldn’t wait to go home and get them loaded up on the computer to have a proper look at them,” he added.
Despite having widespread populations worldwide, the 508 breeding pairs of golden eagles in the UK are largely restricted to the Scottish Highlands and islands, and many world populations are said to be small and declining.
In August, scientists revealed they had mapped the genetic codes of the golden eagle in a development they believe will help efforts to protect and monitor the species.
Professor Des Thompson, Scottish Natural Heritage’s principal adviser on biodiversity, said: “These are superb images of a young golden eagle attacking a red deer. Young eagles disperse widely from their birth territories and are then on the move for several years before settling.
“Hunger can drive the birds to these desperate measures, for this deer is arguably too large for even an adult eagle to kill.
“Sometimes eagles hunt in pairs, and have been known to scare deer into tumbling over cliffs. Even the most experienced of eagle watchers will only have seen such attacks once or twice in a lifetime.”