Bald eagles are incredibly powerful birds that represent freedom to many Americans. This bird is an expert hunter and rarely will its target get away. Today, we’re looking at an instance where a fish wiggles its way free from an eagle’s sharp talons.
Bald eagles have curved beaks, massive talons, and outstanding vision. These features make it easier for eagles to find, catch, and consume their prey. These birds use their impressive eyesight to hunt while flying above the landscape or from ledges or nests above the water.
Once they pick a target to catch, they descend at an ever-increasing angle and capture it into a fatal trap with their powerful talons. Their prey, which frequently weighs only half the amount as the bird, is kept in the bird’s grasp as they fly away. The enormous, hooked beak tears apart the prey once the eagle finds a safe place to land.
Bald eagles are capable of diving at rates of 75-100 miles per hour and travel at a regular speed of 20 to 40 miles per hour. As they search for targets, their broad wingspan allows them to soar without frequently flapping, which helps them save energy.
A Fish Breaks Free
Carnivorous bald eagles typically consume fish as well as other birds. Only a small portion of their typical diet consists of mammals. Studies have shown that bald eagles hunt and consume 400 different species, notably some huge mammals like young deer.
They are versatile predators that will consume both carcasses and living prey. In the video we’ve included below, we can see a slow-motion moment when an eagle dives down to catch a fish just below the surface of the water.
It’s incredible to watch the precision and expertise the bird has as it instantly grabs the fish with its talons. Once the fish is in the eagle’s grasp, it continually wiggles until it eventually breaks free, falling back into the water.
In almost a comedic manner, the eagle watches as the fish escapes and likely perches again to make another attempt. The fish is likely injured from the bird’s talons and will be an even easier catch than before.
How Can Fish Defend Themselves Against Predators?
The most common way a fish can protect itself from predators is to swim in a school. Basically, each fish in the school functions under the assumption that it is better to hide among the other fish than it is to wander the seas alone.
A variety of fish rely largely on their capacity to integrate with the environment so that predators won’t notice them. Additionally, fish frequently burrow themselves in the sand to make themselves very difficult to spot. Any aquatic creature trying to elude a predator like a bald eagle must have quick reflexes and great speed.