Dramatic moment hawk and owl clash in fierce mid air scrap

This is the dramatic moment an owl and hawk come to blows in a fierce mid-air clash.

As the red-shouldered hawk flew in and perched nearby, the barred owl quickly became agitated.

With it’s nest nearby the protective bird feared the hawk was circling for a meal and locked eyes with its adversary.

The hawk and owl clash in mid air

The hawk and owl clash in mid air

And just seconds later it darted towards the hawk – battling in mid-air before leaving with talons full of hawk feathers.

Photographer Marina Scarr captured the dramatic moment in her hometown of Sarasota in Florida, USA.

Feathers were flying as the owl tried to protect its nest

Feathers were flying as the owl tried to protect its nest

She said: “Every winter a pair of barred owls nest near my friend’s home.

“I was photographing one of the pair when a red-shouldered hawk appeared and perched nearby.

“The owl instantly locked eyes with the hawk and I sensed trouble, preparing myself for action by quickly switching to a shorter lens.

“Within seconds the owl attacked the hawk that had been peacefully perched nearby.

“Thankfully neither raptor was harmed in this territorial dispute although the owl came away with some hawk feathers in its talons.

“After the fact I realised it was nesting season for these owls and they must have had eggs or owlets nearby.”

Photographer Marina Scarr, who captured the images, said: "The owl attacked the hawk that had been peacefully perched nearby."

Photographer Marina Scarr, who captured the images, said: “The owl attacked the hawk that had been peacefully perched nearby.”

Marina grew up an avid birdwatcher and credits her experience for helping her capture the fight.

She added: “It’s important as a photographer to study your subjects and their behaviour while in the field.

“It helps to make you better equipped to anticipate action such as this.”