Golden Eagles and Mountain Goats
Can a golden eagle can pick up a mountain goat and sustain
speed for flight?
A big golden eagle might be able to pick up a small baby mountain goat.
They can't pick up a full grown adult mountain goat but you would be
surprised how much they can pick up while flying.
There is a dramatic videos available on U-tube showing eagles pulling
off or pushing off mountain goats off the side of mountains, and taking
goat kids in their talons, and gliding or flying down the side of
mountains. Eagles would be able to feed on dead goats and dismember
them for feeding nestling eaglets. Eagles are intelligent enough to be
able to learn this behavior.
One source questioned the authenticity of the video and it may have been
doctored to some extent to illustrate that eagles are strong enough to
take farming live stock. Many farmers feel the eagle is a threat to
their animals and want to harm eagles, and this may or may not be the
real purpose of that particular video.
Not likely. Most of the food of golden eagles is smaller mammals like hares,
rabbits and rodents. They will rarely kill a young sheep or deer, but eat it
on the ground. This site
states "Eagles can carry up to 8 pounds in flight. If the prey is too large to
be carried, the eagle will patiently wait, perched, until it's victim succumbs
to it's wounds." which is probably accurate.
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Update: June 2012