Share bird photographs or fascinating facts.

What do Eagles Eat

What do Eagles Eat

You must have seen eagles feasting on their prey, either on the ground or high up on tree tops. This article provides information on what these birds eat.
Aparna Jadhav
Eagles are large birds which belong to the family Accipitridae, and to several genera that are not closely related to each other. There are about 60 species of eagles which are seen in Eurasia and Africa, and outside these areas, only two species are seen. These two species are named the Bald eagle and the Golden eagle, which are a common sight in the United States, Canada, South America, and Australia. Eagles are preying birds which hunt for their food by keeping an eye on their prey from the sky and then aiming their glide downwards for a catch.

There is not much of a difference among the diets of both the most commonly-found eagle species in the US, the bald and the golden eagle. Given below is the brief description of both these species and also information on their respective diet.

  • Eagles are different from other birds in many ways, for instance, in their physical appearance and habits. They are larger in size, are preying birds, and are more powerful, with heavy heads and hooked beaks.
  • Their powerful hooked beaks are created so that they can tear flesh from their prey. Their strong muscular legs hold the prey while eating.
  • Their eyesight is also one of their best assets, as their extremely large pupils ensure minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light so they can see the prey easily.
  • They have very large spreading wings, which are broad and relatively longer than other birds. They are more direct and have extra strength to provide faster flight to these carnivorous birds.
Diet of Bald Eagles
  • The first of the most common eagle species in the US is the bald eagle. These birds are hunters. They sit right at the top of their food chains.
  • They have excellent vision, both to the front and to the sides, and all the required strength to tear off their food. The large talons on their feet help them to catch their food and hold it still, till their beaks tear it off.
  • These eagles eat fish, waterfowl, turtles, and muskrats. They are capable of carrying about 4 pounds in their talons and hence they don't mind hunting for bigger prey.
  • Fish comprise a major portion of their diet. They like to eat fish such as trout, salmon, herring, carp, bass, mullet, and even eels.
  • They also like eating birds such as ducks, gulls, egrets, geese, herons, coots, alcids, etc.
  • They can also eat dead animals and decaying carcass of dead prey hunted by some other animal on the land. Larger animals like seals or deer can also be their favorite if they are in a group.
Diet of Golden Eagles
  • Golden eagles, which are also one of the most commonly-found species, have the same features as the bald eagles.
  • They too have great vision, sharp talons, and a hooked beak, which gives them the liberty to hunt for their prey. These factors play a very important role in hunting, and thus have to be understood well.
  • These eagles would prefer to eat hares and rabbits as their basic food. Ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots are their second favorite if they can't find rabbits.
  • Other choices of food can be mice, martens, foxes, young deer, and mountain goats. They also feed their young ones with such a big catch.
  • Golden eagles generally feed on other birds too; those that are either tiny or those which can't fly very fast, like the phasianids, ptarmigans, and grouse become their prey.
  • During the winter months, there is a scarcity of food and hence, they hunt down bigger prey which lasts for a longer time, like the caribou and goat-antelopes.
Eagles are not very rare but are lesser in number than their cousins, the kites and hawks. They are beautiful and majestic birds which also need to be preserved.
American Bald Eagle Rules the Sky Over Wyoming
Bald eagle flying above grand canyon
Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Perched On Nest
American Bald Eagle
Eagle Chick in Nest
Bird of Prey
Eagles In Homer
Two Eagles On A Branch
American Bald Eagle Portrait
Eagle Eye
Alaskan Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
Portrait of a bald eagle
Bald Eagle, British Columbia
Bald Eagle Portrait
Bald Eagle Taking Flight
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Regal Pair
Attentive Eagle
Eagle Flyby
Eagle In Flight
Captive Freedom
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Watching Eagle
Checking Me Out
Eagles Flies From Branch
Washington Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Flying
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle landed on snow
The Bald eagle landed
Bald Eagle Landing
American bald eagle flying high
Bald Eagle at nest
The Bald eagle landed
The Bald eagles eating
Bald Eagles Talons Up
Bald Eagle arriving at nesting site
Bald Eagle arriving at nest
Bald eagle catching salmon
Bald Eagle perched on stump in forest
Majestic Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle landing on snow
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle At Rest
A close up of a flying Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Flying
Bald Eagle on Perch
Bald Eagle
The Bald eagle
Bald Eagle Soars with Mt. Rushmore in Background
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Eating Crab
On Target
Bald Eagle attack
Bald eagle and chick
Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Flying
Bald Eagle in Flight
Bald Eagle Landing
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagles in snow
Air Strike
King Of The Skies (Haliaeetus Leucocephalus)
American Bald Eagle Flying
Profile Of A Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle In A Grassy Background
Bald Eagles on snow
Eagle Mourning
American Bald Eagle Flying Free in Blue Sky, Leadership, Freedom
A bald eagle flying above the mountains
Bald eagle isolated on black
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus on nest Yellowstone National Park
Determined Bald eagle
Bald eagle gliding against blue sky and white wispy clouds
Bald eagles fight over fish
Bald Eagle in Flight with Fish
Adult bald eagle
American Eagle
Alert Passing
Bald Eagle - King of the Perch, White Background
Bald Eagle - Determination Look
Bald Eagle in Flight
Bald Eagle Eating on-the-fly
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Perched On Branch
Bald Eagles
American eagle in the forest
Bald Eagle in Flight with Fish
Bald Eagle in Tree With Fish
Bald Eagle Battle
Bald Eagle Calling
Bald Eagle, Alaska
Bald Eagle Flying
Bald Eagle Calling
Bald Eagle with Snow Mountain
Bald eagle eating salmon
Bald Eagle with Red-winged Blackbird Riding on it's Back
Bald Eagle in grass
Bald Eagles on Ice Floats
Bald Eagle with Blue Sky Background
Bald Eagle-Call of the Wild
Bay Watch
Majestic Bald Eagle
Strong Proud Bald Eagle Treetop Landing
Bald Eagle in Flight
Perched Tofino Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Parent Teaching Flying Lessons
Bald Eagle Calling
Bald Eagle Soaring In Blue Sky
Bald Eagle flying over a jetty at sunset
Bald Eagle with Chick in Nest
Bald Eagle with Majestic Wing Span Pose, Alaska
Eagle Feeding Chicks in Nest
Bald Eagle Eating Gull
Bald Eagle Flying
Bald Eagle Catching A Fish
Bald Eagle couple
Bald eagle extreme close side
The Raven and Bald eagle
Bald Eagle Final Approach Alaska
Bald Eagle On Ice Floats Alaska
Two Eagles Landing
Bald Eagle Feeding 2 Chicks - One Week Old
Bald Eagle with Majestic Mountain background
Eagles on tree
Bald Eagle
Isolated Eagle
Bald Eagle Up And Away Alaska
Patriotic eagle
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Eagle Feeding Chicks in Nest
Bald eagle taking flight from a tree
Young Eagle Chick in Nest
Bald Eagle On Snow Alaska
Bald Eagle Perched In Tree
Bald Eagle
Bird Bald eagle
Bald Eagle Fish Grab
Bald Eagle Flying
Bald Eagle Battle
Dark American Bald Eagle Portrait
Bald Eagle looking down
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Flyby With Fish Alaska
Wild Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagles Perched On Stump Alaska
Bald Eagle Eating A Fish Alaska
Two bald eagles sitting on a tree branch
Majestic Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle in Flight with Fish
Bald eagle sitting on snow
Graceful Bald Eagle Lands On Branch
Two bald eagles are fighting for prey
Bald eagle sitting on a branch and eating prey
The Bald Eagles
Majestic Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Young Eagle Chick In Nest
The Magpie and Bald eagles
Adult bald eagle pair
Bald Eagle profile
Ready For Take Off
Bald Eagle
Close Up American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Perched High in the Winter Tree
sad eagle couple
The head of the American eagle
Bald Eagle British Columbia Canada
Portrait Of A Eagle
Sea Eagle
American Bald Eagle
Bald eagle resting on a branch
Bald Eagle Fishing
Bald Eagle in Flight
Eagle Stare Down
Bald Eagle sitting on a grass
Bald Eagle sitting
Bald Eagle on grass
Fallen Eagle
Pair of American Bald Eagles in a tree
Bald Eagle staring into the first morning light
Beach Bald Eagle Profile
Screaming Eagle
Landing Gear Down
Bald Eagle Portrait
African Sea Eagle In Treetop
Bald Eagles On Ice Alaska
Bald Eagle
Pair of white winged red star
Eagle Cartoon
American Eagle
Young Eagle Chick in Nest
American Bald Eagle at Alaska
Perfect Landing