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Golden Eagle attacks white-tail deer

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Old Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 23:03   #1
Ioway
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Golden Eagle attacks white-tail deer

I am supplying a link to a posting of images and written commentary of a photographer's account of witnessing a Golden Eagle attack a healthy deer. I do not know the photographer, I happened to see the post and thought those who are interested in raptors would be intrigued by the photos and the account.

I photograph bald eagles in Iowa. We do not see Golden Eagles here. The story of the eagle attacking the deer occured in Illinois which is the state that borders on the east side of Iowa. People can see some of my bald eagle photos in the gallery at Bird Forum.

Here is the link: http://www.ilbirds.com/index.php?topic=32809.0

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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 05:33   #2
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I also witnessed an immature Goldie harrssing a group of young deer down a mountainside near Morvern, on the mainland west coast of Scotland. But I am not sure it made contact and I think it was more intent on making the panicking deer fall to their death.
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 06:55   #3
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That's quite an incredible account. It's amazing what eagles can take on, I know that wedge-tailed eagles sometimes hunt kangaroos here, I guess that's the equivalent.
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 07:45   #4
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Must have been incredible to watch. Photos are amazing!
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 12:10   #5
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The thread title reminded me of a film that I saw from Scotland where a juvenile Golden Eagle attacked a young Red Deer. The eagle stuck its talons into the deers back and the deer continued to run with the eagle doing an impression of a rodeo rider. Eventually the connection was broken and the deer ran off with just a few puncture wounds in its back. This was on UK tv but I cannot remember which programme. Looking through those pictures in the link, the whiteness of the tail suggested a juvenile eagle and then with the picture of the underside of the soaring eagle after the attack, the white patches on the underwing confirm that this is a juvenile eagle. This may be a case of a young animal being a bit too optimistic in its attempts to catch prey which was the conclusion in the film on the tv that I saw.
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 12:29   #6
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Colin,
I remember seeing this too. For some reason, I seem to think it was filmed in the Findhorn Valley. Remarkable footage!
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 17:53   #7
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Colin,
I remember seeing this too. For some reason, I seem to think it was filmed in the Findhorn Valley. Remarkable footage!
Dave,
You may well be correct.
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 17:58   #8
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On one of Bill Oddie's programmes he was watching a Golden Eagle attacking a Red Deer.He said it was the first time he had seen a Golden Eagle attack a deer.
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 18:31   #9
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Yes, Golden Eagles will go after very young red dear in Scotland. If they ever manage to bring one down and kill it is another matter!
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 19:23   #10
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Magic Moment!!

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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 22:21   #11
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After nine days they are over 34,000 views of the original post of February 15th. The photographer wrote that he had never experienced anything like in his 3 decades of birding.

It is one reason I keep my camera within turned on and in handy reach whenever I head out of town during daylight hours.

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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 22:53   #12
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Superb account - visually and in prose. Well done that man!
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2010, 23:21   #13
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It is an amazing account and fantastic photos also ! I have to admit laughing pretty hard at this photo though. Not that it is funny that the deer is in shock but how he pointed to the deers face with it's mouth a gape.


ps - hope it is ok that I posted the photo here. I will remove it if it is not cool.
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Old Thursday 25th February 2010, 05:09   #14
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Originally Posted by danehower View Post
It is an amazing account and fantastic photos also ! I have to admit laughing pretty hard at this photo though. Not that it is funny that the deer is in shock but how he pointed to the deers face with it's mouth a gape.


ps - hope it is ok that I posted the photo here. I will remove it if it is not cool.

I did sneak a giggle my self, i think it is panting rather than thinking "F*** me, whats that on my back !"

Nevertheless, he did remarkeably well to capture it all. It was a very good "dramatisation!"
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Old Thursday 25th February 2010, 21:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokermartin View Post
On one of Bill Oddie's programmes he was watching a Golden Eagle attacking a Red Deer.He said it was the first time he had seen a Golden Eagle attack a deer.
That was the programme I was trying to remember.
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Old Thursday 25th February 2010, 22:26   #16
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Originally Posted by wolfbirder View Post
I did sneak a giggle my self, i think it is panting rather than thinking "F*** me, whats that on my back !"

Nevertheless, he did remarkeably well to capture it all. It was a very good "dramatisation!"

LOL ! - exactly !!!
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Old Friday 26th February 2010, 16:51   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
The thread title reminded me of a film that I saw from Scotland where a juvenile Golden Eagle attacked a young Red Deer. The eagle stuck its talons into the deers back and the deer continued to run with the eagle doing an impression of a rodeo rider. Eventually the connection was broken and the deer ran off with just a few puncture wounds in its back. This was on UK tv but I cannot remember which programme. Looking through those pictures in the link, the whiteness of the tail suggested a juvenile eagle and then with the picture of the underside of the soaring eagle after the attack, the white patches on the underwing confirm that this is a juvenile eagle. This may be a case of a young animal being a bit too optimistic in its attempts to catch prey which was the conclusion in the film on the tv that I saw.
Note the moult limit on the primaries, which shows that the bird is a subadult. The pale patches on the secondary coverts indicate either second, fourth or sixth plumage.

Trying to catch large prey is not always too optimistic, Golden Eagles have been found to be able to kill adult Reindeer (which are about the same size as White-tailed Deer) by puncturing the lungs when they strike the back of the animal. On page 19 you can see the punctured lungs of a Reindeer killed by a Golden Eagle:
http://www.blacku.se/kungsornsymposium2007.pdf

Last edited by CAU : Friday 26th February 2010 at 16:57.
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