- Eagles and other raptors specialize in rodent hunting and can catch approximately 2,000 mice per year.
- Eagle vision is five times better than human vision. They can see up to 3 kilometers away!
- Eagles are opportunistic carnivores and prefer live prey.
The term eagle refers to any of the large birds known as raptors, which are found all over the world except Antarctica. Raptors are birds of prey that hunt other vertebrate animals. Their prey is typically large in comparison to their size, though raptors are typically large for birds. There are many species of eagle, about 60 in total, in a wide array of sizes and colors.
Though they are all carnivorous predators, some have a diet that is more specialized than that of other eagles. The bald eagle, for example, has a diet that consists mainly of fish, though they will also consume waterfowl, small mammals, and even snakes as well. The long-crested eagle’s diet consists almost entirely of rodents.
When they hunt, they may fly over an area in search of food, but more commonly they will find a high vantage point to perch and wait, then swoop down, grasp the prey, and continue flying. It is rare for them to be on the ground and grab prey before taking off.
There are a few animals that prey on eagle eggs, such as other birds of prey and some small mammals.
What Do Eagles Eat?
In general, eagles feed on birds and mammals, and tend to be opportunistic eaters. That means if rabbits are abundant, their diet will be mainly rabbits. If food is scarce, they may eat carrion. If food is very scarce and they are forced to fly into more populated areas in search of food, very small pets, usually cats or kittens, may wind up on the menu. Puppies may also fall prey to raptors, but this is rare and happens more frequently with hawks than with eagles.
A Complete List of Foods Eagles Eat
- Waterfowl, such as flamingoes
- Smaller birds
- Small mammals, such as rabbits
- Small ruminants, such as antelope and sheep
- Reptiles, such as turtles and snakes
- Rodents, such as squirrels
- Carrion, such as road kill and other dead animals
The eagle diet is vast and spans pretty much all animals. So long as they are classified as vertebrates, eagles will eat them. Though some of the 60 species prefer one type of animal over others, most types will eat whatever they can catch and fly away with, even if it’s already dead when they find it.
- What Do Blue Jays Eat? These birds aren’t quite as hungry as an eagle, but they still need dinner.
- Harpy Eagle Vs. Bald Eagle: What Are 7 Key Differences? Let us compare two different types of eagles.
- The Top 10 Largest Birds of Prey Check out these truly gigantic birds of prey!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/R Lolli Morrow
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