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Dead calf… Eagles?

Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,923 Moderator
Jumped 3 Eagles out of a pasture this morning.  One mature bird and two juveniles.  I was curious what they were on so I went and checked it out. Fairly fresh calf.  Not a buzzard in sight.   

Do you think the Eagles might’ve killed it? Or just finished it off if it was sick and lost?


"Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
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Replies

  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 3,536 Captain
  • pottydocpottydoc Posts: 5,638 Admiral
    edited November 2021 #3
    Bald eagles aren't all that big, not sure they could kill a calf. I never saw it happen on my granddads ranch, but maybe so. Maybe a yote got it during the night and the eagles are eating what's left. 
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,997 Captain
    Bald Eagle= America's favorite scavenger
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,499 Admiral
    What drgibby said............


  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,923 Moderator
    I understand they scavenge.   

    I just never seen a dead animal covered in just Eagles and no buzzards.  

    Wonder if they took that calf down or Finished it off.   The cows have been moved. It was one yes in a sectional by it self.   I think the poor little guy or girl was looking for milk and week. I think Eagles are more predatory. That’s my thought. Whatever
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,923 Moderator
    Yeah.   They moved a herd last week and the little one was left alone.   I’m sure got weak and then…. 

    I’ve seen eagles and buzzards together on dead stuff.  Never seen only eagles.   Just made me wonder if maybe they polished off the calf and kept it to themselves.  It was pretty fresh.  
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 1,111 Officer
    Eagles tend to go for fresher meat than buzzards. I have seen them on deer carcasses with no buzzards in sight 
  • swampdogswampdog Posts: 5,130 Admiral
    Never seen an eagle attack anything but cattle egrets. They are big time scavengers and do catch fish. The eagles will get along and feed together, but when mating season comes they get testy. They like landfill buffets also. They’re already starting to nest in central Florida. 
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Posts: 1,731 Captain
    Ospreys are apex hunters. Love those birds. I was at newnanns lake back in July checking for gators and saw an osprey swoop down and snatch a squirrel out of a tree. This bird then decided to fly 5 yards straight in air and squawk for 10 minutes doing little circles above the tree. He then dropped the squirrel and flew away. Most of my encounters with them have been up on finger lakes fishing. Its coolest thing in world to watch them dive bomb the water from 200 yards up and fly away with a couple pound trout but I aint never heard of the squirrel deal that was wierd. 
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,923 Moderator
    Just drove by again.  Same 3 eagles and zero buzzards.  
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 14,341 AG
    zimmy4209 said:
    Ospreys are apex hunters. Love those birds. I was at newnanns lake back in July checking for gators and saw an osprey swoop down and snatch a squirrel out of a tree. This bird then decided to fly 5 yards straight in air and squawk for 10 minutes doing little circles above the tree. He then dropped the squirrel and flew away. Most of my encounters with them have been up on finger lakes fishing. Its coolest thing in world to watch them dive bomb the water from 200 yards up and fly away with a couple pound trout but I aint never heard of the squirrel deal that was wierd. 
    I’ve often seen Ospreys with snakes but never with mammals. I wonder why the bird decided to drop the squirrel and not eat it.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Posts: 3,046 Captain
    I have to keep a kayak in my boat when duck hunting so that I can retrieve ducks before the white headed vultures beat me to them. Between the gators and eagles it’s a race sometimes. 
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • osprey11osprey11 Posts: 1,468 Officer
    Have a field that we dump fresh carcasses in.   Not unusual to have a bald eagle or two next day.  
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    I am aware of a calf killed by a bald eagle this year near Morriston that the FWC investigated. 

    I always thought they were mostly fish eaters. After doing some research, that isn’t true. Specific populations are fish eaters. But inland populations are mostly bird and mammal eaters. When DDT knocked their numbers way back we stopped seeing and then subsequently forgot what voracious killers of everything they are. They were public enemy number 1 for farmers for most of the nation’s history because they preyed on everything in the barnyard. 

    They make runs on my chickens and turkeys all of the time. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    edited November 2021 #17
    Here’s an article about bald eagle predation on domestic sheep:

    https://www.capitalpress.com/ag_sectors/livestock/the-secret-predators/article_893350bf-deae-542b-82d5-796f1b23352b.html

    Alaska carried a bounty on bald eagles through the 1950s due to their perceived threat to the sustenance meat supply. 

    The moral of the story is, bald eagles are more generalist predators than we’ve come to believe. Our forefathers who had to depend on their livestock to survive were aware of this fact, but we’ve forgotten it due to not living as close to the land anymore and due to eagles becoming quite rare about the same time people stopped farming to survive in the US. Now that eagles have rebounding we are relearning that they generally kill whatever is easy for them, not just fish. 

    One more account; about 15 years ago a bald eagle dive bombed one of my turkey decoys while I was hunting. 


  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Posts: 1,731 Captain
    zimmy4209 said:
    Ospreys are apex hunters. Love those birds. I was at newnanns lake back in July checking for gators and saw an osprey swoop down and snatch a squirrel out of a tree. This bird then decided to fly 5 yards straight in air and squawk for 10 minutes doing little circles above the tree. He then dropped the squirrel and flew away. Most of my encounters with them have been up on finger lakes fishing. Its coolest thing in world to watch them dive bomb the water from 200 yards up and fly away with a couple pound trout but I aint never heard of the squirrel deal that was wierd. 
    I’ve often seen Ospreys with snakes but never with mammals. I wonder why the bird decided to drop the squirrel and not eat it.
    I thought same thing. Squirrel landed about 40 yards from me. I even went over to make sure thats what it was. Yep dead squirrel. Poor feller what a last 10 minutes in life that animal had. I sure hope I go out a little easier than that 😬
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,923 Moderator
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • bottom feederbottom feeder Posts: 1,798 Captain
    I remember a story I heard about Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird because Bald eagles were a bird of questionable moral character.

    Leaving Florida... take a developer with you!

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,694 AG
    drgibby said:
    Bald Eagle= America's favorite scavenger
    I've seen them right in the mix with all the turkey buzzards going after roadkill  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 14,341 AG
    I've heard of Golden Eagles attacking livestock and game but never heard of Baldies doing so.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • meateatermeateater Posts: 1,304 Officer
    edited November 2021 #24
    are head or neck shots recommended on them or is that just deer and hogs     just kidding relax           
  • MaineRidaMaineRida Posts: 331 Deckhand
    Dumped some pig remains in the back corner of the field a few years back after butchering it.  Buzzards came in but then the eagle showed up.  Buzzards moved back and let the eagle have its fill, it was fun to watch....
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 223 Deckhand
    A rancher buddy of mine spoke of losing newborn calves to vultures that would start in on the calves during the birthing process before they were completely out of the cow.  Pretty harsh deal.  I have seen eagles that were standing shoulder to shoulder with vultures at carcasses, and I have also seen eagles that would claim the carcass and run the vultures off.  Not sure why the difference. One of the favorite things I have seen an eagle do was when I was fishing around a school of busting ladyfish on the flats where there was a bunch of gulls working hard, wheeling, diving, squawking.  An eagle slid in above the gulls that were concentrating down at the water, then stooped down and nailed a gull in midair and flew off with it.  Very cool.
  • gogittumgogittum Posts: 3,911 Captain

     An eagle slid in above the gulls that were concentrating down at the water, then stooped down and nailed a gull in midair and flew off with it.  Very cool.
    Times you wish you had a camera ready, eh ??  What a shot that would be.
  • scuba1978scuba1978 Posts: 13 Deckhand
    What a great story!  I sat at a mountain lake in AZ, and after a few beers, laid back on the rocks just in time for a baldy to drop out of the tree over my head, stretch his wings to glide, and snatch a big ole trout from right next to my bobber.  He took my fish. But that was cool!
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 4,141 Captain
    Nothing more patriotic than watching a bald eagle rip into a dirty diaper at the Putnam landfill. Ben Franklin was right, questionable character for sure. 
  • Jstubby2Jstubby2 Posts: 890 Officer
    That's another not so common bird JB, with a limited range. I've only seen them around lake O.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,923 Moderator
    This one's specialty is bullying Ospreys


    Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of that.  
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
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