Eagle Knocks Out Power Line with Dead Deer

07/19/2011

Bald Eagle Peter Nijenhuis FLICKR Sometimes animals bite off more than they can chew.  That seems to be the case with a bald eagle in Montana that killed a baby deer but couldn't quite manage to keep hold of such a large prey item as it attempted to fly off with it.  Apparently the eagle dropped the dead fawn mid-air just as it was flying over some power lines.  The carcass got snagged on the wire and caused a neighborhood-wide power outtage.  Check out this news report about the odd incident (it might take a moment to load, be patient).

 

It's odd because bald eagles typically prey on fish, waterfowl and carrion and don't normally go for mammals, especially not large ones.  But while it might be odd for a bald eagle to take on an animal as large as a deer, it's not odd at all for the bald eagle's slightly larger cousin, the golden eagle.  In some places, golden eagles specialize in taking prey as large as mountain goats called ibexes.  Even though the ibexes are typically too heavy for a golden eagle to carry off in its talons, these eagles have figured out an ingenius way of dispatching such hoofed prey.  See how they do it in this video (be warned, this footage is somewhat graphic, but remember this is natural behavior).

 

 

Finally, here's a great video about just how well-adapted golden eagles are to their predatory lifestyle.

 

 

Find out the best spots to see bald eagles when they gather in large numbers during the winter months and watch bald eagles hatching from an "eagle cam" in Iowa.

Photo by Peter Nijenhuis via Flickr Creative Commons.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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