Friday, April 5, 2013

Fly Like an Eagle (Reprise)

Our eagles have been back again! This time, one of them snagged an enormous fish out of the lake and landed in the neighbor's backyard across the water to subdue it before flying off with it.

Check out the size of the talons on this bird - this picture is overly-zoomed and a little pixelated, but you can really see the power these eagles pack in their feet.

Bald Eagles will eat a lot of things, including roadkill, but they do love a good fish. About they only thing they love more than catching a good fish is stealing one from another bird. In fact, although these birds are mighty hunters, swooping down to catch prey in those enormous talons, they'd rather snatch a fish that someone else has already caught. They're frequently seen grabbing the catch of smaller ospreys right out of the sky. I didn't see if this one did its own fishing, but I can say that the fish in our lake are nesting in the shallow waters at the edge right now, and they would be easy pickings for a bird of this size.

Once this eagle was quite sure the fish was dead, it headed off carrying the fish in its talons, perhaps to share it with a mate. It also may eat the fish all on its own, and then not need to eat again for a few days.

Once again, we can't help but be amazed at the size of that fish. Remember that although Bald Eagles are very big, they don't weigh very much - the largest are about 13 pounds, even with a 6.5 foot wingspan. (Birds have hollow bones to make flight easier.) That fish probably weighed at least half as much as the eagle, but the eagle carried it easily, without a bit of a struggle once the fish was dead. The raw power of these creatures is astonishing.

We're really enjoying the eagle sightings in My Florida Backyard, and hope to continue to have more to share in the days to come!


  1. Pretty amazing to see that in your neighbor's yard! Great catch.

  2. Love it!
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi Jill - I LOVE the images you've captured! We see one of the mature eagles on the neighbor's roof quite a bit. It never, ever gets old or loses its magic. I'm so grateful for your blog and getting to visit and see the beauty in our backyards. Paula

  4. Beautiful creature. It's amazing how large of a fish they are able to catch and carry.

    We just started a small Florida community and we'd love for tyou to join us!

  5. wow what luck to capture this