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Old Saturday 12th December 2015, 12:56   #1
JTweedie
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Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles - very impressive hunters aren't they?

Report in New Scientist about golden eagles hunting adult reindeer.

As they mention, these attacks are often opportunistic and may be restricted to periods of harsh weather when other prey is hard to come by.

This article also mentioned they've been known to attack wolves, sheep and saiga antelope, and in a related article, sika deer.

There's also a report of a brown bear cub being predated.
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Old Sunday 13th December 2015, 18:25   #2
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My first ever Goldie was in the Morvern region of western Scotland, a juvenile soaring over the mountainside, and then it dived at some deer on the side of the hill. The deer started to run and the bird literally raked their backs.

I've seen about 30 Goldies since but never seen anything like that again.
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Old Monday 28th December 2015, 05:53   #3
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Here in Montana, where there is an abundance of Golden Eagles, attacks on all sorts of animals, both large and small, are very common. Domestic sheep, and particularly lambs, are very vulnerable to depredation.

When large sheep herds fed mostly on public lands, the sheep men waged an unrelenting war on the Golden. It took many years and much legislation to give protection that today is "boiler plate," regardless of what predation took occurred.

The iconic Indian war bonnet uses Golden Eagle feathers, not from any other eagle species. Only Indian tribes have legal authority to be in possession of eagle feathers. Many a person finds a dead eagle along the roads and assumes it is "finders, keepers." Not so. The federal government will swoop down and confiscate the feathers, and depending upon the circumstances of acquisition may impose hefty fines.

But this is a thread on observed attacks, a number which I have observed over the years on all kinds of animals. The assumption that attacks on deer and similar size creatures is prompted by harsh weather and lack of food supplies is just that, an assumption.

The story I'm going to share relates to the American prong horn antelope. Eagles are effective hunters of antelope fawns, but I never had seen one in full attack of an adult antelope. This is what happened.

One early fall, a friend of mine and I were returning from a bow hunting trip in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana. We were in a large valley devoid of trees surrounded by timbered ridges. We saw an adult buck antelope running back and forth in a frenzied manner. No coyote was after it, but we spied a Golden Eagle in the attack mode.

The eagle would gain altitude, circle and then glide down and try to land on the antelope's back. The antelope would stop when the eagle flared and would stand on his hind feed using his horns to defend himself. This was most interesting to observe, so we stopped and watched the process.

The eagle made a number of concerted attacks but was unable to get its talons anywhere on the antelope's body. Antelope are incredibly quick so that was something we expected to see. But what eventually happened, we didn't expect to see.

The antelope made a direct, full speed sprint to the timbered ridges and stopped inside a bunch of seedlings perhaps 10 feet high. This was something the eagle couldn't handle. It landed near the antelope which kept the screen of trees between itself as the eagle hopped around. A kind of ring around rosy maneuver.

Soon the eagle tired of this and flew off, and the antelope continued on its journey through the valley. Enough was enough for both parties.

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Old Thursday 31st December 2015, 15:18   #4
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Here is a Golden eagle in eastern Oregon.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...ps10gxr63w.jpg
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Old Friday 1st January 2016, 17:04   #5
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Very impressive birds, I have always wanted to see a wild one but have never succeeded (despite going to Scotland and searching for hours!!). But I'm returning to Scotland this year, so I'll try again. :)

I remember seeing a BBC programme about falconers in the Mongolia (I think) training Goldies to hunt foxes. I also have seen remarkable pictures of a Goldie hunting a fox in a science magazine.


Happy Birding :)

P.s Great picture BearCat :)
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Old Saturday 2nd January 2016, 13:34   #6
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Originally Posted by _TheBirdNerd_ View Post
Very impressive birds, I have always wanted to see a wild one but have never succeeded (despite going to Scotland and searching for hours!!). But I'm returning to Scotland this year, so I'll try again. :)
Go to the Monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie at Glenfinnan in September if weather is fine. Look up. Worked for me :-)

Cheers
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Old Saturday 2nd January 2016, 20:07   #7
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Thumbs up

When it comes to Eagles and their prey, what we see and admire as awesome, magnificent and beautiful Birds of Prey are very often locked in a daily life or death struggle for survival ......

Out here we have the Goldie's lankier cousins - the Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila Audax ... the 'bold' eagle), and the larger Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila Audax Fleayii). The first time I had a r-e-a-l close encounter with a Wedgie was up in the Warrumbungles once -- she was 2.5m (8&1/4ft) wingspan and scared the bejayzus outta me! (I have recounted the tale many a time on BF :). The Tassie ones (regular Wallaby hunters) have been measured at 2.84m (9&1/2ft) with reports of 3m (10ft) or more, others have measured 112cm in length, and over 5.7kg (12.5lb+) - so b-i-g birds!

From extensive observation of Little Eagles in a home territory, I know that even mother (mammals - predominantly rabbits) and daughter (birds) can have completely different hunting styles and target prey. Aquila's will behave similarly, adopting prey items according to local availability, genetic lineage, learned hunting techniques and success /failure reinforcement, condition of both predator and/or prey, opportunity, habitat, desperation, and season, etc, etc. I have seen footage (sorry no reference - I think it was as part of a documentary on dingoes ~ 1hr long on Youtube?) where a pair of Wedgies killed an adult Dingo. I have also seen footage (again, sorry no reference - I think it may have been part of a documentary on Kangaroos?) where a Wedgie absolutely nailed a fleeing mid-size Roo with a hind talon straight through the back of the head - instant death. This is some footage of a very similar (but unsuccessful) attempt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MUGNRApZtA .
Here's a photo of a more successful result on an immature Red Kangaroo ..... Click image for larger version

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Here is some footage of 3 Wedgies attacking (in a very similar tag-team swooping /dive bombing fashion to which I saw the Dingo despatched) a very big full size adult roo (5-6ft) who only survived due to the proximity of humans and their vehicle (note the Ozzie bloke havin' a yarn on his phone in the background - completely nonplussed, disinterested and see this sorta stuff everyday laid-back, while the foreign accented girls are understandably having kittens! ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xElYBEpHiu4
In case you think Roos are just all cute and cuddly - have a brief look at this fella - 200 pounder "Roger" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFCvPrzj4BU

However, in much the same way that adult African Cape Buffalo will kill Lion cubs, adult Kangaroos will chase away and harass immature Wedgies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSx72xbEwLo
Also witness this stare down of an adult fox by a couple of Wedgies (they don't look in the least bit scared!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk0ADFx04Ls

Here's a verified photo of a Renyard who came off second best: Click image for larger version

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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-0...atbelt/5138450

And as if 'Flying - Foxes' wasn't enough, here's proof that Pigs Do Fly! http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au...-1226730859416

Thank God that Wedgies are having at least some predatory pressure effect on Foxes and Feral Cats, and also Feral Piglets, now if we can only train them to drag Feral Goats off cliffs Himalayan style, and even to take baby Feral Asiatic Water Buffalo in the Top End we'll be right!

It seems they really are the "Bold" Eagle with size of prey seeming to be of little consequence - taking on Parachutists, Hang-gliders, Ultra-Lights, Drones, and even recently small planes ...... Click image for larger version

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So yes, while the taking of adult small-bodied Deer, full grown Kangaroos, Goats, young Caribou, and all manner of 'biteys' - Dingoes, Asian Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes, Feral Cats, and Bear Cubs might be infrequent, seasonal, or habitual - it does happen. Goldies /Wedgies really are v-e-r-y impressive hunters!
Click image for larger version

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Chosun

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Old Friday 15th January 2016, 20:10   #8
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Wow
Didn't know all that
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Old Monday 8th February 2016, 17:28   #9
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I am fortunate to live in an area of Montana that has an abundance of golden eagles. I have not been fortunate enough to see any take large prey but have seen many on dead animals and they definitely keep the other birds at bay while they feed. During the fall there is an incredible concentration of eagles migrating along the Bribger Mountain range and a raptor festival at the local ski area. If you are ever in the area that time of year I would highly recommend it.

www.bridgerraptorfest.org
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2016, 07:40   #10
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Exclamation

Here's a report of an orphaned young Kangaroo 'nabbed' by a "massive wedge-tailed eagle" from the yard of a Police station where it was being looked after. It was picked up and carried away a few hundred metres where it was just about to become lunch ..... luckily for the heavily bleeding young roo, a police officer on duty witnessed the incident and ran over to the eagle and when the 'long arm of the law' caught up with it, scared it away! That's one lucky roo ! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...re-police-res/

I feel sorry for the Wedgie, it's expended all that energy to locate, catch, and carry off the roo, only to have some human interfere in nature's way and deprive the eagles of a fresh meal ......



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Old Tuesday 31st May 2016, 11:06   #11
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There are a number of videos of falconers taking adult red foxes and some coyotes on you tube ... the foxes they seem to take with ease
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2016, 12:35   #12
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... the foxes they seem to take with ease
Down here in Portugal, Spanish (Iberian!) Imperial Eagles regularly hunt Red Fox (& Great Bustard).
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Old Wednesday 1st March 2017, 08:41   #13
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Exclamation

I was just watching an episode of the wonderful David Attenborough's, Planet Earth 2. Episode 2 I think - Mountains. Early on it featured Golden Eagles in the European Alps and showed some of their lives during winter.

It showed the Goldies of all ages relying on carrion significantly during these tough times. I was a bit surprised to see the (at times) massed gathering of Goldies and the competition for the carcass (a red fox in this case). This is similar to some of the behaviour of our own juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagles in the outback.

It somehow makes me feel a little bit better about our Wedgies, knowing that even Goldies don't spend ALL their time bringing down deer and dragging goats off cliffs!


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Old Thursday 27th July 2017, 11:37   #14
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Lightbulb

An interesting satellite tracking project of some Wedge-tailed Eagles showing vast distances covered, and amazing heights attained of ~6500m (21,000+ ft)!
http://wedge-tailedeagletracking.blo...u/2014/05/?m=1

A bit more info with the researcher interviewed for a news article
http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-0...han-th/5590964



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Old Tuesday 14th August 2018, 13:40   #15
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Smile Doin ...... the Eagle Rock ! :)

Struttin' like a boss .....

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KUGBs--4ets




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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 08:57   #16
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[quote=_TheBirdNerd_;3334095]Very impressive birds, I have always wanted to see a wild one but have never succeeded (despite going to Scotland and searching for hours!!). But I'm returning to Scotland this year, so I'll try again. :)

QUOTE]

If you are in the area then Glen More on Mull is a good bet. Practically nailed on if conditions are right and you take the time to scan all the ridges. I have also had them around Skye. You should also connect with White Tailed in these areas too.

Good luck
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 13:50   #17
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[quote=Paul Longland;3751728]
Quote:
Originally Posted by _TheBirdNerd_ View Post
Very impressive birds, I have always wanted to see a wild one but have never succeeded (despite going to Scotland and searching for hours!!). But I'm returning to Scotland this year, so I'll try again. :)

QUOTE]

If you are in the area then Glen More on Mull is a good bet. Practically nailed on if conditions are right and you take the time to scan all the ridges. I have also had them around Skye. You should also connect with White Tailed in these areas too.

Good luck
Yep, Mull is a fantastic place for Eagles although when we went in June it was too hot for much activity and apparently it was looking like a poor year for chicks.
We are going back next month, no doubt being back to windy and cool. I'm sure we will be laughing at the absurdity of it being "too hot" the last time. (A new concept after years visiting Mull!)
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 20:44   #18
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[quote=Boom;3751809]
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Yep, Mull is a fantastic place for Eagles although when we went in June it was too hot for much activity and apparently it was looking like a poor year for chicks.
We are going back next month, no doubt being back to windy and cool. I'm sure we will be laughing at the absurdity of it being "too hot" the last time. (A new concept after years visiting Mull!)
haha yes the big yellow thing in the sky must have come as a bit of a shock in those parts. I was up in the Applecross area back end of June and didn't see a single eagle. Did manage a wandering Bonxie at Torriden though which was an unexpected bonus.
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 20:49   #19
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I saw my only Golden Eagles in Cumbria’s Lake District many many years ago at the RSPB observation post looking through telescopes in the Hawswater Valley. I saw the nest with young and the male hovering overhead. Sadly there are now no Golden Eagles nesting in England, unless of course there is a nest that is being kept secret by conservationists.
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 21:42   #20
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I saw my only Golden Eagles in Cumbria’s Lake District many many years ago at the RSPB observation post looking through telescopes in the Hawswater Valley. I saw the nest with young and the male hovering overhead. Sadly there are now no Golden Eagles nesting in England, unless of course there is a nest that is being kept secret by conservationists.
Ian.
unfortunately whilst there is plenty of suitable habitat in the area to get there any Scottish birds looking to expand their range would need to pass through bandit country to get there so it is unlikely that they will ever recolonize the area. Additionally there is little suitable connecting habitat between the highlands and the lakes district. White tailed on the other hand are a far more likely prospect as they could spread along the coast out of the reach of gamekeepers shotguns, poisons and traps.
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2018, 23:13   #21
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unfortunately whilst there is plenty of suitable habitat in the area to get there any Scottish birds looking to expand their range would need to pass through bandit country to get there so it is unlikely that they will ever recolonize the area. Additionally there is little suitable connecting habitat between the highlands and the lakes district. White tailed on the other hand are a far more likely prospect as they could spread along the coast out of the reach of gamekeepers shotguns, poisons and traps.
There’s currently a Golden Eagle reintroduction project happening in the borders, all may not be lost, although I wouldn’t be anymore than hopeful that we’d see any in their original lakes area.

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Old Tuesday 21st August 2018, 21:18   #22
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There’s currently a Golden Eagle reintroduction project happening in the borders, all may not be lost, although I wouldn’t be anymore than hopeful that we’d see any in their original lakes area.

Cheers
A pointless scheme, since the cause (grouse moor gamekeepers) of the near-complete demise of the previous Borders population has not been removed. The releasees will all be dead within a few months.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 00:07   #23
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A pointless scheme, since the cause (grouse moor gamekeepers) of the near-complete demise of the previous Borders population has not been removed. The releasees will all be dead within a few months.
Invigorating optimism there, with that kind of attitude we should all just give up now.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 09:00   #24
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Invigorating optimism there, with that kind of attitude we should all just give up now.
Actually Nutty is right. The guidelines for undertaking reintroduction projects include a precondition that the reason for the original demise must have been removed. It would be irresponsible in the extreme to release birds to near certain death at the hands of those who wiped out the original population, both on the grounds of waste of scarce conservation funds and for straightforward animal welfare reasons.

So what has changed in the Borders to give grounds for assuming that grouse moor operators will not blow away the reintroduced birds as they do everywhere else?

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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 09:29   #25
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[quote=Farnboro John;3754501]Actually Nutty is right. The guidelines for undertaking reintroduction projects include a precondition that the reason for the original demise must have been removed. It would be irresponsible in the extreme to release birds to near certain death at the hands of those who wiped out the original population, both on the grounds of waste of scarce conservation funds and for straightforward animal welfare reasons.

So what has changed in the Borders to give grounds for assuming that grouse moor operators will not blow away the reintroduced birds as they do everywhere else?

John[/QUOTE

Isn't there still a fragmented population in the area that has been there for years?
Id sooner reserve judgement until we see how it goes.
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