Watch This Bald Eagle Hunt A Salmon With Surgical Precision

Written by Alan
Updated: December 26, 2022
© Tony Campbell/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Key Facts

  • Eagles are carnivorous by nature and enjoy fish, waterfowl, and small mammals.
  • They rely on a number of techniques to hunt.
  • They are also territorial and are none too fond of wolves or cougars in their territory.

Birds are the most beautiful creatures to watch, especially soaring up in the sky. Bald eagles are not an exception. Their hunting skills are something you don’t want to miss watching. They spot their prey from miles away in the sky thanks to their remarkable eyesight. They have a 3 to 4-fold sharper vision than humans, and their overlapped sight gives them a wonderful sense of depth.

This video shows a bald eagle catching a salmon and flying away. The eagle is an apex predator, meaning it can hunt anything. 

They hunt a wide variety of prey, including fish, waterfowl, small mammals, and carrion. They’re most often seen fishing for salmon in rivers or lakes

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Bald eagles have a variety of hunting techniques, including aerial pursuit and ambush. They will perch on high branches or cliffs overlooking bodies of water and wait for an opportunity to strike. They swoop down and dive into the water to grab their meal when they spot prey. After they have caught their prey, they will return to their nest, where they eat their food.

Bald eagles are territorial and will protect their territory from other eagles looking for food. They will also defend their territory from other predators like wolves and cougars.

They can hunt in almost any environment and season. Still, they prefer areas with plenty of water, such as lakes and rivers.

What Makes Bald Eagles Great Hunters?

bald eagle in flight
Eagles are extremely agile and powerful.


Eagles are one of the most majestic and powerful birds in the world. They can soar through the air, dive into the water, and even snatch prey from the ground. But what makes them such great hunters?

Eagles have a few unique adaptations that help them hunt their prey, including excellent vision and hearing, sharp talons, and strong beaks. They also have exceptional flying abilities and can soar for long periods without flapping their wings.

  • Excellent vision and hearing. Eagles can see as far as three miles away and hear sounds up to five miles away. These senses help eagles locate prey from a distance. It also allows them to see predators before they come too close. This helps protect the birds from attack while hunting or roosting in trees at night.
  • Sharp talons and strong beaks: Eagle nails are strong enough to catch large prey like deer, fish, or rabbits. Their beaks are designed for tearing meat off carcasses. Eagles use their powerful feet to hold onto their prey while they tear off chunks with their beaks.
  • Eagles are fast, agile, and strong. Their massive wingspan allows them to soar at high altitudes while they scan their surroundings for prey. Their powerful paws enable them to quickly grab their prey from almost any angle and even lift small animals like squirrels in flight.
  • Sturdy feathers. Eagles’ feathers are stiff and sturdy, so they don’t get bent or broken when they land on branches or rocks. This makes it easier for them to land safely after catching prey midair or diving into the water at high speeds.

Many have crowned this very successful predator the pinnacle of bird hunting prowess. It can accomplish a feat that few birds are capable of. The bald eagle has no natural predators and continues to thrive in today’s world.

How Likely Are Bald Eagles to Enjoy a Successful Hunt?

Apex predator: Bald Eagle
Bald eagels are skilled at hunting and at theft, too.

©Chris Hill/

It depends on the prey being hunted. Waterfowl are likely to spot the swooping raptor and take off before it gets up close with those dangerous claws.

However, salmon is a rather different affair. Researchers observing the avian during winter in Nebraska noted that its chances of success were 24%.

It also worth noting that bald eagles are also fond of pilfering, and will help themselves to another eagle’s dinner where possible.

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The Featured Image

bald eagle hunting salmon
© Tony Campbell/

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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