Amazing Footage Captures a Bald Eagle Battling Canadian Geese In Slow Motion

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: May 24, 2023
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Key Points

  • Geese are territorial by nature and will attack any trespassers venturing into their territory.
  • They can be especially aggressive if they have eggs and chicks to protect.
  • Bald eagles have a sharp sense of sight and are able to spot prey from a distance of two miles.

When we think of birds that “rule” the skies, a few species come to mind. Famous examples include the bald eagle, falcons, and hawks, but there is one bird that most of us have heard of and are terrified of: Canadian geese! In a video clip released online, we get to see just how scary a group of geese can be, even for one of the top flying predators in the world!

Canadian goose in flight about the water
Canadian geese can be rather temperamental especially during nesting season.

© Marinovich

In a viral video clip that has amassed over 2 million views, we get to witness something rather incredible. The video begins with a shot of a bird flying over a body of water, and as the description explains, what we are seeing is a juvenile bald eagle. Most people are familiar with what a bald eagle looks like, but only as an adult. The white crown of head feathers and brown body is recognizable to most Americans, if not the world, but a juvenile bird looks quite different. Generally, young bald eagles are mottled brown and have a spotty pattern across their bodies until they are around five years old.

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As we are about to find out, the age of the eagle may have something to do with what happens next! The bald eagle is soaring across a large portion of water, looking for some potential food. With an incredible sense of sight, an eagle is able to spot a fish under the surface of the water from more than two miles away (about 8x better than a human eye).

Two bald eagles fighting
The grip of the bald eagle is actually 10 times stronger than a human.


In a fell swoop, the young eagle spots a fish and goes down to snag it for a meal… only it must not have looked around to see what else was around the fish at the same time: a massive flock of Canadian geese! Canadian geese aren’t predators like a bale eagle is, but if they are one thing, it’s territorial! As the eagle gets close to the surface of the water, the video goes slow-motion, foreshadowing what happens next.

As the eagle tries for a fish, a very angry goose flies out of the water and attacks one of the greatest flying predators alive today! In a rather shocked state, the eagle realizes it’s being attacked by a goose and falls into the water. Now, the eagle is stuck around what must be over 50 geese, including small chicks! Within seconds, another goose attacks the eagle, letting it know that this ISN’T a place where it is welcome.

Geese don’t usually kill things, but they are famously good at standing their ground in the face of predators that are much larger than them. During certain portions of the year when they have eggs and chicks, that territorial sense kicks into overdrive.

This young eagle didn’t get a fish that day, but it sure did learn a valuable lesson: don’t go near the geese if you aren’t ready for a fight!

Make sure you check out the video below!

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The Featured Image

bald eagle in flight
Bald eagles are large flying birds and fierce predators.

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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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