What do Eagles Eat?

The mighty eagle is a powerful bird with strong wings and razor-sharp beaks.

Their resilience and strength have become a symbol for humanity. This is clearly highlighted through many principles that we follow today.

There are more than sixty eagle species found across the globe, with nine species in Central and South America alone. While a few other species can be found in Africa, Canada, Asia, and Australia.

So, the question for today is all about shedding light on what these powerful birds have for lunch. Let’s take a look!

What Diet Does An Eagle Follow?

Eagles, by nature, are carnivorous creatures. Since they are predatory birds, they mostly hunt small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and fish among a few others.

Since several different eagle species exist across the world, their diet also varies based on geographical locations.

Let’s take a closer look at what different eagle species like to eat:

Bald Eagles

Bald eagles like to feed on different smaller animals such as rabbits, catfish, salmon, herring, crabs, reptiles, and even other smaller birds.

Bald Eagles

Even though the bald eagle was previously considered endangered, it has flourished in number over the years.

You can mostly find bald eagles living near water bodies. This is why they like to feed on different fish products compared to reptiles and smaller mammals.

You can easily tell a bald eagle apart from other eagle species as it has white feathers on its head and brown hues on the body.

Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles prefer to feed on squirrels, prairie dogs, jackrabbits, birds, mice, snakes, large insects, as well as lizards.

Golden Eagles

Stronger golden eagles can also hunt larger animals such as baby deer, foxes, and even carrion.

You can tell the amount of power a golden eagle has from its preferred diet.

They are enormous birds who are not afraid of preying on animals that may be a bit bigger than their own size.

A golden eagle gets its name from their light golden-brown feathers found on their heads and necks.

You will mostly find golden eagles inhabiting mountains, tundra, rangelands, foothills, and even open country spaces.

African Fish Eagles

African fish eagles mostly like to feed on lungfish, catfish, and other water species.

African Fish Eagles

The African fish eagle also preys on flamingos, smaller birds, carrion, or larger prey found near the water.

The African fish eagle has black, brown, and white spots on its body. Compared to other eagle species, this species is much larger.

In terms of habitat, the African fish eagle likes to perch on trees close to coastlines, rivers, lakes, or any other water bodies, making it easier for them to hunt.

Long-crested Eagles

Long-crested eagles feed on rats and rodents.

Long-crested Eagles

Their food preference is why it is mostly found in wetlands, savannahs, forests, grasslands, and any other artificial lands.

This makes it easier for them to hunt rodents and rats to feed on. The long-crested eagles get their particular name from the long crest they have on their head.

You can identify a long-crest eagle from the white patches on its wings and jointsand the black and brown hues on its body.

Philippine Eagles

Philippine eagles like to hunt flying lemurs. Other than that, they like to eat snakes, lizards, and other smaller birds.

Philippine Eagles

As with the name, the Philippine Eagles are found in the Philippines, where they inhabit steep terrains and forests.

Tare incredibly powerful, especially when it comes to preying on their food.

In some areas, the Philippine eagle is also referred to as a monkey-eating eagle because of its strength and ability to prey on lemurs.

Steppe Eagles

Steppe eagles feed on moles, pika, reptiles, insects, carriers, and squirrels. They also hunt on other smaller birds apart from their regular diet.

Steppe Eagles

They are one of the largest eagle species that inhabit agricultural lands, grasslands, deserts, and semi-desert areas.

How Do Eagles Hunt?

Eagles are born with the analytical ability to hunt which specific tactics and power. Their speed helps them in capturing their prey regardless of size.

The speices’ powerful wings can help them soar high and keep an eye on their prey from high vantage points.

They can also fly low and over slopes whenever they have to catch their prey, whether water or land.

Their sharp talons help them in snatching their prey, which works well with their powerful wings and speed.

Eagles like to kill their prey first with their sharp talons before devouring them.

Each eagle foot has four sharp talons. One large talon is at the back and three facing the front.

Their feet are powerful enough to crush their prey along with puncturing wounds in their body with the edge of their talons.

Eagles And Their Eating Habits

As powerful birds, eagles like to work with the element of surprise. They enjoy chasing their prey before grasping them in their sharp talons.

Some eagles like to hunt cooperatively, although it is rare for eagles to eat or hunt together.

One can say that eagles enjoy live prey for medium-sized mammals such as rabbits and squirrels.

However, they also prefer other birds and dead animal matter depending on the situation they are in.

Most eagles can lift about four to five kilos of weight, allowing them to hunt larger animals and not just the traditional smaller ones.

Nutritionally speaking, an eagle requires 250 grams of food every day. This may be difficult to maintain, especially in winter.

Hence, during the winter, eagles largely depend on dead animal matter.

If an eagle gets to enjoy a large meal, it does not need to eat again for a few days ahead.

This helps them scavenger from area to area in search for live prey or other food sources.

Now that we have discussed the most important aspects of an eagle’s diet, let’s move on to other factors.

We’ll discuss determinants that may help you better understand how an eagle behaves when it comes to food.

How Often Do Eagles Like To Have Their Meals?

An eagle can consume about one pound of food for a day.

These predatory birds can live without food for a few days, especially if they live in an area with scarce natural resources.

If eagles have plenty to hunt and feed on, they can eat up to two pounds of food in a day.

Where Do Eagles Fit In The Equal System?

There is no doubt in the fact that eagles are predators. However, they are also prey for some animals such as owls, coyotes, wolves, foxes, and even ravens.

Even though they are fierce and powerful creatures, these animals highlighted above consider eagles part of their diet.

The fact that eagles hunt for a number of small mammals, reptiles, birds, and rodents helps in keeping the numbers in check.

Naturally, this prevents overpopulation considering the natural laws of the animal food chain.

Since Eagles feed on the dead animals matter if live food isn’t available, they are responsible for cleaning up the environment.

What Time Do Eagles Prefer To Eat?

Since eagles are diurnal species, they like to hunt for food during the day.

Eagles always prefer to have fresh prey rather than dead animal matter. This is why you will find most eagles eating during the day rather than at night.

Do Eagles Have A Large Stomach?

With the amount of food eagles like to consume, you would think that they have a large stomach. However, an eagle’s stomach is quite small. One can say that it is about the size of a small walnut.

Then how do they consume one to two pounds of food? Well, if an eagle has an area within its body that allows them to store food. This area is considered a crop.

This particular feature helps them survive for several days if they cannot find live food to hunt.

Generally, an eagle can eat up to 1/3 of its body weight.

Do Eagles Like To Eat Bones?

Even though most Eagles like to feed on live prey, they also live off of carcasses and dead animal matter.

This includes bones as well because they are a source of important nutrients that eagles need to survive.

An eagle’s digestive system is strong enough to dissolve bones, allowing them to completely digest them as a part of their meal.

The Bottom Line

The eagle is a mighty creature that loves to hunt and prey on animals of different sorts.

Equipped with sharp talons, a sharp beak, and wings of glory, these birds are great at what they do.

From rabbits to lemurs, different eagle species can successfully hunt animals, reptiles, and rodents of different sizes to satiate their carnivorous diets.

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