Category Archive 'Golden Eagle'
25 Jun 2018

Encounter With an Eagle

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During the 1911 Paris to Madrid air race, French pilot Eugene Gilbert encountered an angry mother eagle over the Pyrenees. Gilbert, flying an open-cockpit Bleriot XI, was able to ward off the large bird by firing pistol shots at it but did not kill it.

22 Feb 2017

French Air Force Training Eagles to Take Out Terrorist Drones

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Daily Mail:

Birds of prey are being trained to prevent terror attacks in France, after being recruited by the country’s air force.

A team of four eagles is being trained to bring down remote-controlled drones when they stray into unauthorised airspace.

It is feared that terror groups could use drones – types of which can be bought from toy stores – packed with explosives to target civilians or military landmarks.

Experts believe training eagles to deal with threatening drones is far safer than using bullets to shoot them down.

Air force general Jean-Christophe Zimmerman told Reuters: ‘These eagles can spot the drones several thousand metres away and neutralize them.’

He said the idea came from police trials in the Netherlands.

The birds are being trained to grab or halt the drones. Before they hatched, they were placed on top of drones before being kept there during their early feeding period. …

Eagles have a grip 10 times more powerful than a human, making them ideal to deal with large unmanned drones.

03 Aug 2016

Hunting With Eagles in the Altai Mountains

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Hong-Kong based photojournalist Palani Mohan recently delivered a TED Talk in Sydney describing his personal project photographing the last surviving Eagle Hunters in the Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia.

His photographs were featured in Mother Jones last December.

05 Dec 2015

Hunting Wolves with Eagles in Central Asia

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04 Mar 2015

Photo of the Day



From Veterinaria [FB].

16 Apr 2014

13-Year-Old Girl Hunts With an Eagle

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13 Year-Old Ashol-Pan with friend

The BBC did a recent feature of a 13-Year-Old Kazakh girl who is carrying on an unusual form of traditional hunting.

Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill – and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.

“To see her with the eagle was amazing,” he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it.”

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.

They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released.

The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?”

25 Sep 2013

Eagle Hunting Deer


They also use eagles to take deer. (video from Daniela Imre)

Deer hunting with a Golden Eagle

19 Dec 2012

Golden Eagle Almost Nabs Toddler in Montreal Park

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There have long been rumors that eagles are not only capable of preying on lambs, but may even go so far as to take human infants when given the opportunity. Wildlife experts have consistently pooh-poohed such stories, dismissing them as folklore.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.


Update: It’s a fake.

Matt Mullenix expressed skepticism and referenced HuffPo which, by the time I looked there, had new imformation:

A Montreal animation school has fessed up that the “Golden Eagle Snatches Kid” on YouTube is a fake, created by three students in its three-year animation and digital design degree program.

“Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards,” the school, Centre NAD, said in a statement Wednesday.


Could an eagle snatch a small child and carry him off?

Well, one almost got this roe deer. And look what happens to this Pyrenaeen chamois.

Eagles have been demonstrated to be capable of killing reindeer and even of carrying off Brown bear cubs.

This eagle is doing a decent job on an adult human being.

28 Dec 2011

Falconry, Large-Scale

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Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) attempting to detain roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).

Falconer Steve Bodio has traveled to Kazakhstan in order to witness Central Asian falconers using Golden Eagles to take deer.

Next time, Steve won’t have to travel so far. The Daily Mail recently reported on hunting with Golden Eagles in Slovakia.

0:12 video

06 Mar 2011


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According to Steve Bodio:

Look at it this way: that eagle he’s carrying weighs over 20 lbs.

17 Jul 2010

Eagle versus Izards

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7:19 video of Golden Eagle(s?), Aquila chrysaetos, preying upon what appear to be Rupicapra pyrenaica, Izards or Pyrenaean chamois. A particularly effective hunting technique consists of snatching the goat-antelope off the cliff and simply dropping it.

23 Dec 2009

Eagle Attacks Photographer

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Remember the postings earlier this year noting documented predation by Golden Eagles upon reindeer and bear cubs?

Let’s add photographers to the aquiline bill of fare, at least in the case of domesticated eagles (jesses are visible in the photo).

Steve Bodio writes “tame eagles are often more aggressive than wild!”

From Bilabrin on Reddit via Adam at Gizmodo.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

23 Oct 2009

Golden Eagle Killing Reindeer

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Here is a short 0:53 video from Finland showing a Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) attacking and killing a reindeer calf (Rangifer tarandus).


A BBC natural history film crew gathered the extraordinary footage along a reindeer migration route in northern Finland.

It finally proves this eagle species does occasionally hunt reindeer, something suggested by forensic evidence and the local Sami people.

The crew filmed the behaviour while capturing footage of the reindeer migration for the BBC natural history series Life, though the images were shot at too far a distance to be included in the final cut of the high definition programme.

In the last 100 yards it went into a low powerful glide and hit the back of a calf

Television producer Dr Ted Oakes, cameraman Mr Barrie Britton and scientist Mr Harri Norberg set out to film the hunt along the northern edge of Finland.

For his PhD thesis Mr Norberg has spent the past few years studying how predators interact with the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), which are known as caribou in North America.

Mr Norberg would tag calves, then search out those that had stopped moving to find out what had killed them.

By examining the bodies and the size and shape of claw, bite or talon marks, he ascertained that the majority of reindeer calves killed in the region had been attacked by eagles. …

More often than not the golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) appeared to attack white calves, rather than tan or brown ones, though the crew did not know why.

According to Mr Norberg, it is usually immature golden eagles that kill the calves.

However, he also believes the birds occasionally hunt adult reindeer.

Another larger species of eagle lives in the region, the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), but this bird is less aggressive than the golden eagle, and will often be chased off a reindeer carcass by its smaller relative.

The Sami people that live in the area say they have seen white-tailed eagles also killing reindeer, but this behaviour has yet to be scientifically documented.

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

15 Feb 2009

Eagles Take Bear Cubs

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bear and bald eagle

Accounts of eagles carrying off lambs are sometimes discounted by skeptics, and stories of eagles posing a predation threat to small children have long provoked derision. Eagles just aren’t bold enough or strong enough, the experts will tell you.

One wonders if this article in Ursus, the journal of the International Association for Bear Research and Management won’t cause some to reconsider their views.


During spring 2004 an adult female brown bear (Ursus arctos) and her 3 cubs-of-the-year were observed outside their den on a south-facing low-alpine slope in central Norway. They remained near the den for 8–10 days and were, except for one day, observed daily by Totsås and other wardens of the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate. On 25 April, as the family was moving along the edge of a steep, treeless slope and down a snowdrift, the smallest cub, at the back of the group, was attacked by a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The cub vocalized loudly as it was lifted off the ground and carried away. The eagle was still carrying the cub when it flew into cloud cover and was lost from view. Although no remains were found, it is probable that the eagle killed the cub. This paper describes the circumstances of the incident and relates it to other observations of attacks by eagles on young bears in Europe and North America.

Hat tip to Cat Urbigkit via Karen L. Myers.

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