Watch an Eagle Hunt a Snake With Incredible Precision

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Updated: October 18, 2023
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There’s nothing quite like a hungry baby. For this mother eagle, mealtime means turning to the water for a tasty snake treat.

The video begins with the mother eagle scanning the environment for potential prey. A banded sea snake, venomous and lethal for people, swims nearby, unsuspecting that its day is about the go in a different direction.

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The snake is venomous. Because of this, most predators avoid it. It spends most of its time slithering underwater where few other animals want to eat it.

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But that doesn’t mean anything to the mother eagle and her hungry eaglets.

Talons outstretched, the eagle swoops down and plucks the sea snake from the water.

mother and baby eagle

Bald Eagle mother looks down at white fluffy and fuzzy Bald Eagle eaglet only a couple of days out of the egg.

©Jon C. Beverly/

Predator or Prey?

Banded sea snakes come to the waters near Malaysia, coming ashore to beaches like Snake Island to breed. They spend most of their time underwater where it is less likely to become someone’s next meal.

Why would the sea snake, who spends most of its life underwater, come up to the surface and make itself such easy prey?

Sea snakes don’t have gills and need to get air from the surface. Their lungs are nearly the same length as their body and need to fill up in order for them to go back under the surface. This is the perfect time for a white-bellied sea eagle to find lunch.

Eagles have sharp eyesight that makes sea snakes easy to spot. Their talons are perfect to pick up sea snakes from the water.

Banded Sea Krait (Snake)

Banded sea snakes are venomous.

©Rich Carey/

Wings spread open, she snatches the snake and begins to fly back to her nest. The snake coils around her feet, biting and writhing to get away. If the snake manages to bite the eagle, she could die due to its venom.

The mother eagle makes it back with the snake and feeds her babies. Unfortunate for the snake but delicious lunch for the eaglets.

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

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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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