Eagle Swoops Down to Snatch Heron’s Meal

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: March 1, 2024

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African Fish Eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer in flight catching tilapia fish, Lake Baringo, Kenya, East Africa
© Tomas Drahos/Shutterstock.com

It is easy to be impressed with animals in the wild. They have many incredible skills, such as hunting, preparing for shelter, and relocating when they need to. We may often think these are a one-time action; however, they are not. Every day, animals have to worry about their safety and what they will eat. Unfortunately, as a wild animal, there is no ability to “retire” and relax. However, every now and then, animals will take the easy road out when it comes to hunting for food. Let’s see how this eagle does that in the video below!

Eagle Hunting for an Easy Meal

The YouTube video clip shown at the top of this blog post shares footage of a heron hunting and an eagle looking for a quick meal. The Kowa YouTube page shared this video. This channel commits to offering a wide range of videos on animals such as monkeys, hyenas, deer, sharks, and wildebeests.

Lazy Eagle Tries to Steal Food From Fellow Bird

At the start of the video shown at the top of this blog post, we see an eagle and a heron standing side by side. The eagle is an African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer), and unlike the heron, he is not there to hunt for food. He wants to take the easy way out and steal from the heron’s hard work. 

The heron starts looking around for any opportunity to grab a fish swimming by. According to BBC, “Herons are the bait-fishing champions of the bird world.” And while birds often make catching fish look easy, it is absolutely an incredible skill to be able to catch fish swimming by. Some fish can even swim over 50 miles per hour

After the heron quite easily captures a fish, he walks up to shore to enjoy the catch when suddenly he hears the sounds of an eagle swooping down to catch his meal. The heron accidentally drops his meal, and the eagle tries to grab it. But not before the heron intervened. This hunter is determined to have his meal and not allow it to be stolen by a lazy thief. 

What Do African Fish Eagles Eat?

Pair of African fish eagles perched on a branch

African fish eagles have a wingspan of eight feet.

©Martin Prochazkacz/Shutterstock.com

The African fish eagle is a carnivore that resides in Africa. And while in the video posted at the top, we can see that he was trying to steal from another, they are in fact very good hunters.

According to the Peregrine Fund, “Just like the Osprey, the African Fish Eagle has barbs on its feet to help it hold on to slippery fish, its main prey.” This grip allows them to prey on various animals, such as small mammals, fish, reptiles, and even other birds. And sometimes, as in the case of the video above, it is to swipe a kill from another animal. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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