[Tweeters] Bald Eagles' Double-Teamed Attack

Clarence C. Lupo Gos at tds.net
Mon Nov 12 08:17:52 PST 2007

I have seen Bald Eagles on Mayfield lake do the same thing to young geese
and a hen mallard. After a while, the goose just cannot stay under long
enough to avoid the talons and is yanked out of the water, or bound to and
then "rowed" to shore.
Cooperative hunting among birds of prey is unusual but not uncommon. Bald
Eagles do it, and the Harris Hawks can be a feathered wolf pack when after a
jack rabbit. Birds of Prey could no more give up their nature to hunt than
you or I could stick our head in a lake and learn to breath water. I have
kept both the Cooper's hawk and Goshawk under my falconry license and after
hunting season it's hard to keep the birds from self destructive behavior.
They are just so wired to hunt that they start falling apart mentally if
they are fed food without the chase; they Need to Hunt in a way we cannot

Cinebar, WA.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Arthur Berman" <aberman at telus.net>
To: "Tweeters" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 7:05 AM
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Bald Eagles' Double-Teamed Attack

> Carol Ledford wrote:

>> Yesterday (Saturday), at Ridgefield NWR (~4mi W of I-5 at Exit 14 in SW

>> Washington; http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges/), I watched two adult

>> Bald Eagles cooperatively hunt and take a sitting duck in the middle of

>> Rest Lake. First one, then the other eagle would swoop in and attack the

>> duck, striking at it, causing the duck to dive in an attempt to get away

>> from them. After about a dozen strikes, the duck could no longer avoid

>> the eagles, and succumbed. The lighting was poor at this angle, and the

>> best I could determine was that the duck may have been a ring-necked

>> duck. The whole thing was very interesting, yet a bit sad, to watch.

>> I've not previously seen this sort of cooperative hunting by birds.

> I don't see why this is sad instead of a special opportunity to observe

> behaviour. We thrill at the sight of the majestic eagle, yet perhaps

> ignore what in nature is normal and assume, perhaps, that eagles are

> vegetarians.


> Arthur Berman

> North Vancouver, BC

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