Skip

Something bad is probably going to happen, I'm just not sure to whom...
December 28, 2011 1:15 PM   Subscribe


 
I couldn't load the video (work won't let me) but a thought occurs. Aren't eagles raptors, and don't raptors eat small critters?

I wouldn't let an eagle lick MY kitty.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:20 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dang, in that first video she got right up in front of that eagle. I think I wouldn't get that close to a wild eagle. She could end up on TV as the woman who had her face ripped off by an eagle.
posted by zzazazz at 1:20 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


One cat's name is "Suitcase". This pleases me.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:24 PM on December 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is cool, and also makes me nervous.
posted by everichon at 1:24 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


> Aren't eagles raptors, and don't raptors eat small critters?

Bald eagles would much rather scavenge than work for their meals. I got the impression that there was kind of a curious stalemate going on here. The cat did try to take a swipe at the eagle as it flew off in the second vid, though. It's pretty clear that someone's been feeding these eagles at any rate.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


My indoor, deaf, city-raised cat once ventured outside to the deck as a hawk flew overhead. The cat immediately flattened himself and scuttled under a bench. Surely it's instinctive for cats to hide from raptors?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:25 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It says here that a bald eagle's max lifting weight is 4 lb. Maybe live kitties are just too big for them to deal with as prey, especially if they're not hungry?

I wouldn't want to see a fight break out, though...
posted by Currer Belfry at 1:33 PM on December 28, 2011


The first video youtube suggested to me in the sidebar after I clicked on the third link is called "eagle eating cat".

o_O
posted by andoatnp at 1:37 PM on December 28, 2011


> "eagle eating cat"

Thankfully, it's so blurry and unsteady that you really can't make out anything. Also, that eagle didn't actually kill the cat, it just feasted on roadkill.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:40 PM on December 28, 2011


I see these videos and I can't stop thinking of this.
posted by mosk at 1:40 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


More like seagulls, from the sound of 'em.
posted by The White Hat at 1:44 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The eagles have the whole outside to fly around in, and yet they choose to spend so much time on somebody's porch. Interesting.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:47 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The eagles have the whole outside to fly around in, and yet they choose to spend so much time on somebody's porch. Interesting.

It's pretty clear that someone's been feeding these eagles at any rate.

Hmmm.
posted by andoatnp at 1:50 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love the top comment on the first video: "R.I.P headphone users´╗┐." That is one shrill shriek!
posted by letitrain at 1:53 PM on December 28, 2011


The eagles have the whole outside to fly around in, and yet they choose to spend so much time on somebody's porch.

Well, they have to land some time, might as well be on someone's porch. I think they're keeping tabs on the kitties. We won't eat you today but if food gets a little scarece, we know where we can get some fat vittles.

I just saw one of the feral cats in my apt complex catch a bird. I think it's wise that these kitties know not to try that with these eagles. Those claws were pretty impressive. (I do like how one of the cats get too close in one of the other videos and the eagle just shoos it away with wing, a giant wing.)
posted by shoesietart at 1:54 PM on December 28, 2011


I wonder how this would turn out with my Maine Coons...they used to look out the window at Canadian Geese and turn to me as if to say, "Come on, let us out. We can get one of these."
posted by Ber at 1:55 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was on a bike trip a couple years back through Whidbey Island in NW Washington. We went past a field on which a farmer was running his thresher. About twenty eagles were flying over and around the just-threshed field, presumably looking for mice that the farmer exposed. We stopped and I took some pictures, but the thing that impresses me still to this day is just how big these birds get, especially with their wings unfurled.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:55 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like in the second video how the eagle flies away when the line in the background music sings "We ain't got money".
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 1:59 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have seen bald eagles running around fields like chickens, catching mice and voles. I have seen them sitting like pigeons on rooftops in cities. I have seen them mug ospreys for the fish they carry.

Bald eagles are pretty adaptable when it comes to food. I wouldn't let my cat out in eagle territory, that's for sure.
posted by rtha at 2:04 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


#predatorfail
posted by LarryC at 2:08 PM on December 28, 2011


I thought it was all going to go wrong about here.
posted by desjardins at 2:15 PM on December 28, 2011


It's pretty clear that someone's been feeding these eagles at any rate.

Not necessarily. If you click over to this video, the guy has 30 bald eagles in his Alaska backyard; they are picking up discarded fishguts from the salmon run, flying them to the guy's nearby house, and basically having an eagle picnic back there. So while they are scavenging off humans (because it's easier to pick up guts than salmon - eagles are very efficient), they are not being fed by them.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:16 PM on December 28, 2011


The cat immediately flattened himself and scuttled under a bench. Surely it's instinctive for cats to hide from raptors?

In the first video at the 55 second mark when the eagle starts crying *I* wanted to flatten myself and scuttle under a bench. Those birds are gorgeous but dear god. We have bald eagles up at my dad's farmhouse in Maine now and we're always having "sightings" but I really hope they never make friends with any pets my parents might have.
posted by Mizu at 2:20 PM on December 28, 2011


The eagles have the whole outside to fly around in, and yet they choose to spend so much time on somebody's porch. Interesting.

Well, there aren't a lot of trees to land in in Dutch Harbor.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:20 PM on December 28, 2011


I have a cabin that's right in the middle of protected eagle and hawk land; I sometimes sit and work and watch the eagles dive and grab a passing black bass from the river in front of my window.

Until very recently, I also had a feisty teenaged cat who could hold his own against animals twice his size and a quarter his age. Our vet told us very clearly: "Keep an eye on the cat when there are hawks and eagles around and *never* leave him unattended. I've heard stories of birds of prey injuring pets in upstate New York."

So while the video seems to show how sometimes cats and raptors can get along, I wouldn't trust my kitty anywhere near an eagle--especially not a truly wild one that isn't partly tamed.
posted by yellowcandy at 2:34 PM on December 28, 2011


I live near the Mississippi river valley in Wisconsin, and bald eagles are all over the place, and close up, they are awesome. In the original meaning of the word. I always get blown away at how massive they are, and how sharp their beaks and claws look. If that was my cat, i'd be chasing that bird away as quickly as i could. Sure, it ended well here, but that bird is basically higher on the food chain, and hungry enough, cat dead. I have pet rabbits that live in the house with me, and when they freak out, i know why most of the time, they can see them farther than we can and fear them.

Side note, i once saw two crows in my yard engage an eagle, it was scary as hell. The eagle would go after one, and the other would then attack it, making it change course, then the other one did the same. Crows are just so damn smart, i'm kind of glad they aren't equipped with the claws and beak of eagles.
posted by usagizero at 2:35 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uhhhh
posted by The Whelk at 2:51 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have seen bald eagles running around fields like chickens, catching mice and voles. I have seen them sitting like pigeons on rooftops in cities. I have seen them mug ospreys for the fish they carry.

We have both bald eagles and ospreys around here, as well as tons of red-tailed and red-winged hawks, owls, cranes, egrets and great blue herons.

Life is just better, somehow, with big birds around.

Thanks for the videos.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:56 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read this in Rutger Hauer's voice from his final monologue in Blade Runner. :) Made my night.
posted by ZakDaddy at 3:21 PM on December 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


From the Youtube comments: "I'd name those two´╗┐ Patriot and President Goddamn America."

Suitcase is cute, but he doesn't look like the brightest bulb. The human had probably better put a gentle stop to all this.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:22 PM on December 28, 2011


In the first video at the 55 second mark when the eagle starts crying *I* wanted to flatten myself and scuttle under a bench.

Fear not, the Haast's Eagle is extinct. Which is sad, actually.
posted by homunculus at 3:27 PM on December 28, 2011




Mystery solved.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:33 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Andean Condor is still around.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:03 PM on December 28, 2011


According to Carl Van Vechten's The Tiger In The House (1920), eagles and similar birds of prey are natural predators of the domestic cat's nearest wild relatives, and back then some zoos would feed their eagles by throwing some stray cats into their enclosures; the cats didn't stand a chance. Van Vechten also contends that the reason cats sleep in a coiled position is to resemble serpents from the air, hopefully deterring any birds of prey that might otherwise consider them a snack.
posted by acb at 6:40 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Raptors like snakes, too, so maybe that's not a great strategy!
posted by rtha at 6:53 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's fine to video eagles on your porch, but the second my cat starts creeping with a puffed tail toward an eagle with a beak that looks like it could rip off his head, I'm not going to keep filming and say, "No! Bad cat!" I'm going to put down the damn camera and go save my kitty, youtube fame be damned.
posted by Huck500 at 6:54 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The eagle in the last vid is obviously very young and undergoing its first moult, and is miserable, as birds tend to be when moulting as you'll know if you've known many birds. Poor thing is just wondering if the kitteh can scratch any of those itches.

I think the first vid eagle is also pretty young, though it's obviously moulted into its adult plumage. The middle vid is less clear.

Only a very desperate Bald Eagle would take on an adult cat as prey; they are indeed way too heavy and they have those claws that rodents don't. An eagle could definitely kill a cat but the cat could definitely also mess the eagle up badly in the process.

In fact, these vids strike me as one of those mutually assured destruction situations where everybody knows they don't dare mess with the other guy, and the result is paradoxical peace.
posted by localroger at 7:11 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


My parents had a cat that was picked up and dropped by a raptor of some kind. One day the cat was acting like it had been hurt. My parents took her to the vet and they discovered puncture wounds all up and down her back. It's a good thing for her she was heavy.
posted by bokinney at 7:28 PM on December 28, 2011


Awesome post. I agree that eagles can be relatively lazy hunters. Here in New York's Hudson Valley, during the winter, I sometimes see bald eagles hanging out along the edge of the ice (in an inlet of the Hudson). They squat for hours, these huge dark lumps in the distance, waiting for fish to swim by, presumably so they can forgo active hunting and conserve energy. The commuter rail line passes right by them, and back when I took the train every day, it blew my mind how no one noticed them. Bald eagles! Right there! Forty miles north of Manhattan! Idiots.

Aaaanyway, I suspect the prevalence of food sources has led to these Dutch Harbor eagles being fairly tame... though those nets (cf. around 0:53) are scary as hell.

This video is my favorite, because you really get a sense of how remote this location is. Plus, the drama and suspense are better than most movies. Bonus = a cat named Suitcase chilling on the roof.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:29 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live where BP is talking about, and while I always got hawks to scoop up the voles exposed by my haying, never had a bald eagle join me, though they're all over the place.
posted by maxwelton at 7:59 PM on December 28, 2011


Yeah bokinney, same thing happened to my dad's cat, except he had wounds on his belly. They think it might have been a barn owl.

Keep seeing more and more eagles up here now. "Hey, that's a pretty big hawk. Wait a minute... " and it's an eagle.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:51 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Soul Time!   |   Marconi wasn't even using WEP Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post