Remarkable Bald Eagle Dive-Bombs to the Water to Snag a Fish Trapped on the Surface

Written by Chris Madden
Published: February 12, 2024
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Floating Fish Gets Plucked by a Bald Eagle Like a Cherry Off a Tree!

In the remarkable slow motion clip at the bottom of the page, a bald eagle swoops down to snatch a fish! The incredible flying form of the bald eagle is on full display, as it comes down like a fighter jet! Wings tucked slightly in, the bald eagle extends its legs and spreads its sharp talons! As it gets closer and closer to the surface of the water, it spreads its wings out and stays just barely above the water level. The feathers on its tail brush against the water, just inches from crashing into the surface! 

Then, the eagle expertly puts on the brakes and raises its talons, cocking them back for full power! Even in slow-motion, the speed of the bald eagle’s strike is clear! The fish at the surface was trapped in a huge upwelling current, expanding the air inside of its body! Trapping it against the surface, the fish was still alive but completely doomed. A bald eagle is an expert predator, but just because it possesses every hunting tool in the book doesn’t mean it needs to use them!

Bald Eagle Fishing

Having just snatched a fish from the water, this bald eagle spreads its majestic wings to rise back into the sky!

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©Harry Collins Photography/

In the same smooth movement, the bald eagle flaps its powerful wings and lifts away from the water. Scanning its surroundings for any potential competitors trying to steal its easy prey, the bald eagle continues to climb. Its powerful wings carrying the great bird of prey into the air, the incredible form of a flying bald eagle is on display once again. The eagle keeps the fish firmly grasped in one talon as it flies away to enjoy its snack.

Bald Eagles, the Naturally Adapted Fighter Jets of the Skies!

Bald eagles, just as we see in the clip at the bottom of the page, are undisputed experts in the art of hunting, especially when going after fish. With their perfectly adapted bodies, these birds of prey show how to blend power with precision in their hunting techniques. Guided by their long wings and tail feathers, bald eagles boast some incredible aerial acrobatics. They can glide far distances while scanning the waters below for their aquatic prey, as well as maneuvering tightly! Their keen eyesight allows them to spot fish beneath the water’s surface, from far above in the air! And once a bald eagle is locked in on its target, they can divebomb down with incredible speed.

A close view of a bald eagle adult comforting the eaglet, high up in the nest.

A bald eagle tenderly checks on its chick, likely stopping by to feed its hungry, growing baby!

©Randall Vermillion/

Equipped with knife-like talons and a sharp pointed beak, bald eagles can deliver a killing blow in an instant. They snatch fish from the water, spearing them with their talons, and ripping them apart with their beaks.  During the crucial nesting season, both mother and father bald eagles work together to get enough food for their hungry chicks. The parents equally take turns between hunting and protecting their offspring. From the huge nests they build high in coastal forests, these majestic birds raise the next generation of hunters!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © PHOTOOBJECT/

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About the Author

Chris is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing and a natural tendency to explore the internet in pursuit of new wildlife and nature facts! He is completing his Bachelors in Political Science at Concordia University in the Spring of 2024 after a science-centric high school career. Aside from studying and writing for A-Z Animals, he has a budding music career and enjoy spending time outside year-round, from swimming to skiing!

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