Watch This Bald Eagle Scream Down to Grab a Rabbit Right Out of Fox’s Mouth

Bald eagle sores over stadium with blurred crowd in the background
A-Z Animals/

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: October 22, 2023

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See a Brave Fox Mother Fight an Eagle for Food in This Video!

Eagles Are a Symbol of Freedom

A Bald Eagle flying with the backdrop of one of Alaska's glacier's Grewingk.

Eagles can easily snatch fish out of the water.

Bald eagles are incredible creatures that many see as a symbol of freedom. These birds are unbelievable hunters and today we’ll be looking at a video that shows an eagle making an impressive attempt at scoring a fresh rabbit for dinner.

Eagles seize opportunities. They alternate between being predators and scavengers. The majority of their hunting is done while they sit on a high branch, then they fly down to capture prey in their talons. Eagles can also hunt by flying extremely low over water or land and surprising their prey. The gripping power of these mighty birds of prey is ten times greater than that of a human.

What Do Eagles Eat?

bald eagle hunting salmon

A bald eagle’s diet consists of more than 50% fish.

Bald eagles have an appropriate temperament for their way of life. They have razor-sharp, pointy beaks that they use for ripping and cutting prey into small pieces.  They have strong legs and feet with big talons that they utilize to destroy their prey.

They choose fish as their main food source and can be found in large numbers in areas with plenty of fish. Additionally, they consume seabirds and ducks. Eagles hunt small animals including rabbits, shrews, prairie dogs, and rats in the meadows and wetlands. 

Bald eagles have the second-largest menu of all birds of prey after the red-tailed hawk. More than 400 species are included – including birds as large as Canada geese that are attacked and killed in mid-air. If the prey weighs too much for a bald eagle to fly away with it – they simply swim or engage in a laborious, low flight while dragging it to shore where they finish it off and dismember it.

A Close Call for a Fox Family

playful red fox cubs ( Vulpes ); young animals near the den, playing while vixen is out to hunt

Young foxes are playful and learn to hunt through play.

A video going viral online shows an eagle displaying its impressive wingspan. A bald eagle has a wing span of up to nearly eight feet wide! As the freedom bird swoops down, we suddenly see a fox. 

The fox has a rabbit hanging out of its mouth and it appears to be the mother fox of nearby young. Because rabbits are relatively defensiveness, they are easy targets for eagles and foxes. 

The eagle expertly sinks its talons into the rabbit but the fox refuses to let go. In an effort to feed her babies, the fox holds on as the eagle begins dragging the animal along with the rabbit.

At one point, the fox performs a flip in the air when the eagle finally releases. Eagles aren’t known to put up a major fight for their food. It likely realized the fox wasn’t giving up, and thus, moved on. 

How Can Rabbits Defend Themselves?

A couple of wild rabbits playing on the field

Rabbits are prey for many animals – including eagles and foxes.

A rabbit’s primary means of protection is its capacity to flee and hide. Yet, trapped rabbits can also try to ward off attackers and protect themselves by using their powerful hind legs, claws, and teeth.

Their initial reaction is to freeze, but if the threat is closing in, they are going to run to a hidden location. As a warning to other rabbits, they are also going to thump the ground with their hind legs. These precious creatures only really start to fight when there is no other way out.

Is it Normal for Bald Eagles to Steal Prey?

Family of two bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus parents with their nest of chicks on Marco Island, Florida in the winter.

Like the fox, bald eagle parents will do whatever it takes to provide food for their babies.

While they are more likely to hunt live prey due to their exceptional hunting skills – bald eagles will definitely steal prey from other animals, or take advantage of fresh road kill. They will scavenge carcasses up to the size of whales and will feed on human food from picnics and camping sites. Garbage dumps and fish-processing plants will also be scavenged whenever food is scarce.

Bald eagles are admired for their exceptional hunting prowess and their majestic appearance – but in actuality, they have no qualms about behaving no better than a lowly vulture. They don’t care where their food comes from and will snap up any opportunity to eat – whether it’s a groundhog hit by a car or a fox hanging from a fox’s mouth – all is fair play to the bald eagle when it is hungry or has other mouths to feed.

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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