As we prepare to celebrate this great nation’s birthday, I think it’s only fair to point out the uncomfortable fact that our noble, proud and regal national symbol can sometimes be, well, a thieving opportunist. Just ask these guys.

From this story on Yahoo news:

Fishing buddies Bruce Huntley and Rick Warren were enjoying a relaxing day on Washington’s Lake Padden. Huntley was reeling in one of the lake’s rainbow trout when a massive, 6-foot bald eagle swept down from the skies and stole Huntley’s catch directly off his fishing line.

“I noticed the eagle had been watching us from the tree, did one circle, went right over his head. I yelled ‘watch out,’ Warren told Yahoo News in a phone interview. Warren, an aspiring photographer, says he’d heard stories of birds stealing fish from humans on Lake Padden, but neither he nor Huntley had ever seen anything quite like the bold eagle that literally snapped Huntley’s fishing line and flew off with his catch.

According to the story, the two men went back a week later to replicate the scene in the hopes of getting a photograph. It took a while, but eventually the eagle did them the courtesy of stealing another fish, which allowed them to snap the picture above. Anyone ever have an eagle or osprey steal a fish off your line?