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Golden Eagle and Fox

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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 22:07   #1
Himalaya
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Golden Eagle and Fox

Never seen any photos of Wild Golden Eagles attacking and killing a Fox until today. If the Fox a young one - looks small!!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 22:36   #2
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No evidence the eagle killed the fox, nor does the photographer claim that it did. I'd suspect it was a dead fox put out as bait to draw the eagle in for a photo shoot. The chance of the eagle catching a live fox that close to a photographer (even if in a hide) is pretty minuscule.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 00:02   #3
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Looks staged to me also. You’d think that if it were otherwise the photographer would say something about the circumstances of the “kill”.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 00:21   #4
Himalaya
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If you look at the the 14th comment down the photographer says there was only one winner.

You would need to click the view previous comments to see it.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 00:57   #5
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More likely roadkill. Regardless of what she said about one winner. I'm surprised nobody asked about it.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 02:11   #6
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Exclamation

Without commenting on this particular photo - plausible Imo.

See this photo of a Goldie's Ozzie cousin the Wedge-tailed Eagle taking a young red fox (introduced pests to this country). Researcher Dr Penny Olsen has recorded red fox as something like ~ 10% of the diet of Wedgies in certain areas (details and full dietary analysis in her book).
https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.p...20&postcount=7

I have to add that I am having an increasing gutful of 'photographers' getting 'AH-MAY-ZING' photos of Sea Eagles, Eagles, and other raptors, and indeed birds in general, by baiting, luring, and staging shots. It's wrong ! Don't do it !!

The most impressive "kill" I have witnessed live and natural was a 1.36kg Little Eagle (female) kill a 1.8kg buck European Rabbit (feral introduced pests in this country). I have also seen film footage of two Wedge-tailed Eagles co-operating to kill a Dingo. I'm quite sure that Eagles can kill mammalian prey larger than themselves.




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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 09:25   #7
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Thumbs up

See this eye-witness account and photo of a Wedgie taking a fox:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/20...atbelt/5138450





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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 10:00   #8
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Originally Posted by fugl View Post
Looks staged to me also. You’d think that if it were otherwise the photographer would say something about the circumstances of the “kill”.
Yep. Not to mention a whole series of pics, rather than just one - I'd not even be sure the pic isn't stolen from another photographer, and their own signature added afterwards.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 10:02   #9
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
See this eye-witness account and photo of a Wedgie taking a fox:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/20...atbelt/5138450

Chosun
Yes, it certainly happens - but not 2 metres away from a photographer!
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 10:59   #10
Chosun Juan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Yes, it certainly happens - but not 2 metres away from a photographer!
This particular incident I posted has been discussed and analysed to death on-line, and the bloke in question has been very consistent and forthcoming with further information. I have no reason to doubt it. The consensus is it was legit.

With the amount of habitat modified by agriculture /grazing /clearing /degradation in this country, and ferals introduced a mere 200 odd years ago, raptors (such as Kestrels, Black-shouldered Kites, Black Kites, Harriers, Brown Falcons, and Eagles, etc) have learned to either make use of this disturbance activity, and/or substitute the feral animals as prey items.

If Wedgies can despatch much larger Dingoes, and Kangaroos, they can certainly take Foxes, Feral Cats, Goat Kids, Piglets etc (all Feral !). I've even seen them chasing Deer etc on trailcams ....

Wedgies are documented to take ~10% of their prey items as Feral Cats, and Red Foxes, each, in certain localities /environments.

I had a close encounter (20ft !) with a huge female Wedgie ~ 2.5m (8&1/4ft) wingspan on top of Bluff Mountain - and I was dead set packin' it - I thought I was going to get carried away !


I will reiterate - I cannot stand all these "heroes" and their set up shots and fake videos .....




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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 14:10   #11
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
This particular incident I posted has been discussed and analysed to death on-line, and the bloke in question has been very consistent and forthcoming with further information. I have no reason to doubt it. The consensus is it was legit.
I'm not doubting it at all - he was incredibly lucky to witness it, but it is easy to see, his photos were taken from some distance away (maybe 50-100 metres??), not "with a camera stuffed up the back of its a***" as the pic at the start of the thread is
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 15:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
I'm not doubting it at all - he was incredibly lucky to witness it, but it is easy to see, his photos were taken from some distance away (maybe 50-100 metres??), not "with a camera stuffed up the back of its a***" as the pic at the start of the thread is
The pic in the OP of this thread was taken @ 195mm (using a 80-400mm lens) on a Nikon D500 according to the EXIF -- that's unusually close, and I think most folk here would like to be getting natural shots of Eagle's etc at that distance ! It seems unusually close /"lucky" ......

(when I had my encounter with the Wedgie at 20ft, I didn't get any shots. Partly that was because I had just trekked up a 1200m mountain, and was recovering on top drinking some of the 20 L of water that I was carrying, and had just eaten a pack of Twisties, so my hands were covered in that spicy cheese powder. The Wedgie just 'materialized' in front of me about 20ft away - it just rose up the face of the bluff, wings fully outstretched and just 'moved' without so much as a feather twitch - straight over the top of my head as I was sitting down. by the time I had cleaned my fingers up enough to think about taking the lens cap off my camera and turning it on, this huge bird was headed straight for me - my heart was pounding !

I was thinking jayzus - this thing is massive ..... then I started thinking, hang on a sec, these things throw goats off cliffs don't they ?! surely no - surely it realizes I'm a person ? ..... then I thought - sh*t ! ..... so I stretched my limbs out as far as possible - saying "too big for you buddy" .... more in hope than anything else, and probably trying to convince myself more ! By the time it had glided past me, I was just too thankful to be alive, and for the experience, to think about getting a photo .... my heart was pounding that much I would have been flat out holding it steady anyway ! )

In the pic in question - The Eagle's grip -- talons of one foot through the hip /spine region, and the talons of the other foot up at the head /neck /bitey end is fairly typical for immobilising and killing large /dangerous prey, but yeah, agree, there is no proof that the fox was alive when the Eagle first got to it. Even for birds as powerful as Eagles, they still rely on opportunity, surprise, and speed to tackle such dangerous prey.






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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 16:08   #13
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Watched a video on Youknowhere that shows 3 wedge tailed eagles harassing a grey kangaroo. They not only look menacing but one come pretty close to striking the 'roo. Okay, maybe a tad opportunistic with an adult but I could see them taking a young one quite easily with a talon through the back of the skull.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 16:54   #14
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
I'm not doubting it at all - he was incredibly lucky to witness it, but it is easy to see, his photos were taken from some distance away (maybe 50-100 metres??), not "with a camera stuffed up the back of its a***" as the pic at the start of the thread is
Well ... the photographer might have used bait to attract the eagle, and this bait might have attracted the fox too.

Not to say that's what happened, just that the presence of a distracted fox and a hungry eagle might conceivably not have been independend random events.

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Henning
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 17:49   #15
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I spent 15 yrs running a trapline in Montana in a previous life. Encountered hundreds of Golden Eagles. I'm sure it happens but I don't remember ever witnessing a kill. They predominantly eat carrion in my experience. They would routinely eat holes in dead coyotes in my snares rendering them worthless. I have too much experience with dead animals and to me, that fox is not freshly killed. The blood is browning and it's overall appearance looks like it's been dead for a while. That said we all know how photos can be misleading. Especially seeing that there is only one. If I was to post a photo like that I would include a complete description of the situation.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2019, 19:40   #16
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If you look at the neck of the fox in the OP's linked photo, it shows leaked body fluid (blood?) on the white neck fur. It is sodden with it: come to that all the fur looks wet, as if the animal has been plonked in dewy grass for some time. A live fox being pulled around like that wouldn't have closed eyes and jaws, either. It would be angry and animated, fighting. This is roadkill put out as bait at a hide, not the moment of a kill.

Fox deaths on the roads round me run at multiple animals per night within a less than five mile radius. I could easily lay my hands on a fresh corpse to put out within an hour by just driving around, on any day.

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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 15:29   #17
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We saw an interaction between a Golden Eagle and Fox in Turkey a few years back. It was inconclusive and both lived to tell the tale. We think it was the Eagle trying to steal the Fox's prey but were not sure.
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2019, 20:35   #18
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We saw an interaction between a Golden Eagle and Fox in Turkey a few years back. It was inconclusive and both lived to tell the tale. We think it was the Eagle trying to steal the Fox's prey but were not sure.
So the Turkey won?





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Old Thursday 18th April 2019, 03:50   #19
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Its a fox carrion and very likely a falconry eagle, too. Which is standard in this type of photos. Otherwise the photographer would be bragging all over.
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Old Thursday 18th April 2019, 07:06   #20
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So the Turkey won?





No-score draw I think....
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Old Thursday 18th April 2019, 18:04   #21
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Its a fox carrion and very likely a falconry eagle, too. Which is standard in this type of photos. Otherwise the photographer would be bragging all over.
Perhaps you aren't aware of the options for hide photography with habituated wild birds across Europe. I don't doubt there are people using falconry birds (I've seen photos so careless as to show jesses) there is not real need because you can find the opportunities to achieve your pictures without: standard it isn't, these days.

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Old Thursday 18th April 2019, 22:16   #22
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I think this is an habituated bird... as mentioned above. In the photographer's photostream there's a whole series of presumably the same individual obtained through the course of 2 consecutive days. I unfortunately suspect the comments accompanying each photo are not factual, rather a fictional construction, as they don't seem to add up. Some priceless info on Golden Eagle biology is also added, my favorite being "their ability to fly at a maximum speed of 320 km/h"... truly priceless.
some of those pics:
the original post pic: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
and the others:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moblyn...in/dateposted/
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