[Tweeters] Golden Eagles attacking larger prey

Kevin Purcell kevinpurcell at pobox.com
Wed Sep 25 12:47:09 PDT 2013

A camera trap in the Russian Far East, set up to observe siberian tigers, shows images of predation of Sika Deer by a Golden Eagle. It was a successful kill.

> The three images only cover a two-second period, but show an adult golden eagle clinging to the deer’s back. Its carcass was found two weeks later, just a few yards from the camera, initially puzzling researchers.


> The paper and images appear in the September issue of the Journal ofRaptor Research. Authors include Linda Kerley of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Jonathan Slaght of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

It's interesting how big a prey item these eagles will attack.

> Co-author Dr. Jonathan Slaght of WCS noted that golden eagles have a long history of eyebrow-raising predation attempts. “The scientific literature is full of references to golden eagle attacks on different animals from around the world, from things as small as rabbits—their regular prey—to coyote and deer, and even one record in 2004 of an eagle taking a brown bear cub.”

I've seen video (from the BBC) of Golden Eagles harassing and striking (much larger) Red Deer juveniles in Scotland but no images of a successful attack.

There is also the classic footage of Spanish Golden Eagles taking goats from a cliff face.

And "Golden Eagle attacks White-tailed Deer at Nachusa Grasslands!". No kill but the same style of attack I've mentioned above with Red Deer: harrasing attack with a strike on the rump/back.


More details

Press release from the World Conservation Society


Photos in NatGeo


Paper written up in the Journal of Raptor Research (for those with BioOne access).

Kevin Purcell (Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA)
kevinpurcell at pobox.com | @kevinpurcell

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