Monday, September 23, 2013

Eagle versus Deer

This is pretty cool: a camera trap in Primorye, set to observe Amur ("Siberian") tigers, caught a golden eagle in the act of killing a sika deer. Knowing of my interest, Jonathan, Tim Gallagher, and Annie Hocker all sent notice.

But I am grumpy about the text, especially two statements, ""rabbits—their regular prey—"

Not really; more like rabbits, hares, great blue herons, demoiselle cranes, bar- headed geese, Greek tortoises, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, domestic stock on occasion... whatever is available at the right place and time. And:

"The scientists underscore that golden eagles do not regularly attack deer".

But they do. Also as I just stated, many other large and/ or hoofed animals.

John Byers' brilliant pronghorn monograph considers them a major predator.

George Frison, the old archaeologist who wrote Survival by Hunting, a sometime inspiration to both Reid and Lib, ditto, and features a painting of them in his book doing that.

Danny McCarron, personal observation of golden taking down running antelope (wild, both) "like they do it every week!"

Tigner ranch here, who had 40 calves taken by one pair and allowed the Audubon Society (in the seventies, a less PC time, granted) to film it, before they trapped and relocated them.

EVERY EASTERN EUROPEAN EAGLER takes roe every year, like a gos on a hare, both at home and at Opocno (below).

Golden eagles are top- of- the- chain carnivorous dinosaurs. If they were bigger they would hunt us...

UPDATE: I was reminded that Darren and I both covered this along time ago.


Anonymous said...

No hunting in this vid, just a camera on a flying eagle. The cool thing to me is that the eagle seems to intentionally brush tree branches. Maybe there is an evolutionary behavior justification for this, but it looks like the bird just does it for fun.

Bryan Kimsey said...

"If they were bigger...." We humans could also be smaller, you know. As a 5' 5" "tall" human, I think about eagles a lot. :)

I also wonder why the Eagles in the The Hobbit didn't just munch down on their cargo.

Here on our ranch, I've several times come across freshly killed pronghorns with hair and eagle feathers mixed together over several yards and a pair of goldens with huge crops sitting nearby. Also bumped one with a freshly killed Swift/Kit fox- talon marks in his head.

Anonymous said...

Hah! Shoulda known you were on to this!

Jim Cornelius

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the statement they made about eagles killing deer being rare may be inaccurate, but intentionally or not, it is a wise thing to say to the general public. Don't give Those-To-Whom-Deer-Are-The-Most-Sacred-Beings-On Earth any ammunition(literally as well as figuratively!) or notion to go around shooting them deer killin' eagles! Deer were put here by God ONLY for HUMAN hunters, of course, as everyone knows.....And dang! That Sika deer looked as big as a fair sized human! Maybe some of these people that disappear in the mountains, or are reported as having fallen off a cliff and "scavenged" on by birds, had a close-and-personal nature experience with a hungry eagle!.....and sorry--interesting as both those books are that you linked--they'll havta get "used" more before I can get them! But I'd like to eventually!....L.B.

Tam said...

Anything that kills more hoofed rats is okay in my book. ;)

TheBrummell said...

Bryan Kimsey said: "I also wonder why the Eagles in the The Hobbit didn't just munch down on their cargo."

Oglaf, a very not-safe-for-work webcomic, explored this question earlier this year:

That particular comic is described as "safe as eagles" (in terms of how much swearing-and-nudity is illustrated - there are a few rough words), the rest of the archive is at-your-own-risk.

Also, holy grap Golden Eagles are big - the picture with the people holding them really shows their size.

Steve Bodio said...

"Bad Falcon"