Watch a Fearless Crab Successfully Fight Off a Bald Eagle 100X Its Size

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: October 17, 2023
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The bald eagle may signify American independence and spirit, but the crab in this video gets top marks for bravery and sheer boldness. Even though the eagle is much larger, the crab puts up enough of a fight to get away and keep from becoming the eagle’s meal.

Watch the Action Below!

A Bald Eagle Hits…and Misses

The clip begins with a bald eagle sitting majestically on a rock in the water. We’re expecting to see this amazing bird pick out a tasty fish or other morsel from the water and fly off into the sunset. We wouldn’t even be surprised to see fireworks shooting off as he takes off into the sky, his powerful wings moving through the air.

Instead, he decides to go for a crab perched just on the edge of the rock. Seems simple enough for this powerful predator, right? Wrong. The crab is not about to become someone’s lunch without putting up a fight. He claws at the eagle’s beak. Forced to change his plans, the eagle moves around the rock, keeping his wings outstretched to try to balance. He flaps them a few times and is likely regretting picking this particular crab. The crab snaps and moves around, causing the eagle to stagger backward into the water.

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Struggling to regain his footing, the eagle ends up submerged up to his head. At some point, the crab gets free of the eagle’s beak and climbs onto his head. Giving him one last pinch for good measure, the crab goes back into the water and gets free. The eagle gets back onto the rock and pretends like nothing happened.

What Do Eagles Eat?

Bald eagle in flight with a sockeye salmon in his claws

Bald eagles eat fish and small mammals.


Fish are one of the most popular foods among bald eagles. They use their sharp talons to pluck fish right out of the water as they swoop overhead. Most of their food comes from the water, which is why bald eagles are so common in these environments. They also eat rabbits, squirrels, and other small mammals, as well as smaller birds. They will eat carrion when necessary, although they tend to prefer fresh food that they kill themselves.

Bald eagles do eat crabs and other crustaceans. As seen in this video, however, it can be harder to make a meal out of things that can pinch you. Eating crabs also adds the extra step of getting through the tough shell. But these are common parts of a bald eagle’s diet when they can get them.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Bock

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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