When a bald eagle is actively hunting waterfowl at Ridgefield, the ducks have two forms of escape: take to the skies, or dive under water. Their choice is often dictated by their body type, for most geese and dabbling ducks can take flight immediately while coots and diving ducks need to first build up speed by running across the water.
This bald eagle zeroed in on an American coot swimming in Ruddy Lake — the coot chose to dive. In the eagle’s talons you can see some grass from the marsh that it picked up on a previous attempt at the coot (and it clutched them throughout the attack).
An unsuccessful pass bled the eagle of its speed so it pumped its wings to regain height, come about, and dive-bomb the coot once more. It made multiple passes at the coot, trying to injure it with its talons or wear it out by forcing it to dive and swim repeatedly.
In the end the eagle was successful, it flared its tail feathers and lowered its legs on approach then delivered the fatal blow with its talons. In the last picture you can see the coot flipped upside down just behind the eagle. On the next pass the eagle picked up the lifeless bird and carried it back to its perch in the nearby trees.