What does an eagle eat?

In this brief article we will answer the question, “What does an eagle eat?” We will look into related topics such as what different species of eagles eat. We will discuss how eagles hunt, what baby eagles eat and how often eagles eat. We will also talk about the fish and birds eagles like to eat.

What does an eagle eat?

Eagles are predominantly carnivorous and depending on the species they consume small mammals such prairie dogs, rodents such as squirrels, waterfowls such as flamingoes, reptiles such as snakes and turtles, raccoons and as well feed on carrions from dead animals.

As mentioned, different types of eagles feed differently, let’s take a look at that.

What do different types of eagles eat?

Type of EagleFoods consumed
Bald EagleFish such as salmon & catfish; Birds such as geese and gulls; Mammals such as rabbits & lambs.  Crabs, reptiles, amphibians
Philippine EagleLizards, snakes, hunt bats, palm civets, flying squirrels, and macaques. They also feed on birds such as other birds of prey
Golden EagleMarmots, rabbits, prairie dogs, hares, jackrabbits, grouse, squirrels, mice, voles, birds, ptarmigan, snakes, large insects, gulls, lizards, searbirds, foxes, young deer, and carrion. 
African fish eagleDucks,catfish, lungfish,storks, ibis, flamingoes, other water birds, carrion.
Steppe Eagle
Steppe pika, ground squirrels, Queleas reptiles, other birds, insects such as locusts and termites, squirrels, and carrion.
Long-crested Eagle90 percent of the diet is rodents mostly cane & viel rats, the remaining diet is reptiles, frogs and insects

How do eagles hunt?

Eagles make use of their speeds to hunt down their prey. They are very analytical birds and have very good sight which enables them to detect their prey when soaring high or perched.

Once they mark their prey, they utilize their amazing speed to quickly ambush and catch their prey and they snatch it using their well developed and sharp talons.

What do Baby Eagles Eat?

Baby eagles are known as eaglets. Eaglets are usually fed by their parents who usually regurgitate food for them. As the eaglets grow much older and larger the parents usually bring to them foods in their nests which they cut into smaller pieces for the eaglets.

How Much Do Eagles Eat?

On average eagles consume about 1/2 to 1 lb of food in a single day. If there is scarcity of food eagles can consume up to 2 pounds of food in just a single sitting. The quantity of food consumed by eagles is also dependent on the species of the eagle.

What are eagles fed in captivity?

When in captivity, eagles are  usually fed on strips of lean meat. Some conservatories also usually release live prey inside the eagles enclosures so that the eagles can learn how to hunt before they are released into the wild.

Do eagles eat fish?

Yes, actually a lot of eagle species like hunting for fish. For some species of eagles, fish is the main source of food. For instance the Chesapeake eagles diet consists of 90 percent fish. Other eagle species enjoy consuming other types of animals.

Eagles hunt down and catch many varieties of fish for consumption but they particularly enjoy fish species such as shad and catfish because they are much easier to catch in shallow waters.

When they catch a huge fish they usually use their sharp claws to carry the fish to a nice and suitable spot to eat. They make use of their sharp beaks to cut and tear shreds of meat from the fish so that it’s easy to swallow.

They can swallow small types of fish whole and they usually swallow the fish head first because fish tend to go down without difficulty if they are consumed that way.

Which birds do eagles eat?

Eagles can eat any type of bird and some of the birds they love preying on are waterfowl, pigeons, seabirds among others. Eagles even eat other eagle species. 

They make use of their sharp eyesight to spot small species of birds from great heights and they have a longer wingspan and aerodynamic bodies that enable them to fly quickly and they can dive down and catch slower birds.

You can read some 10 fun facts about eagles here.


In this brief article we have answered the question, “What does an eagle eat?” We have looked into related topics such as what different species of eagles eat. We have discussed how eagles hunt, what baby eagles eat and how often eagles eat. We have also talked about the fish and birds eagles like to eat.


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