Are Eagles Scavengers?



Eagles ARE scavengers.

Widely regarded as a graceful, noble creature, the eagle, a carnivorous bird, does engage in scavenging for food on occasion. Although eagles are fast fliers and notably capable as hunters, they are very opportunistic feeders. Fish, such as salmon and trout, are the preferred food choice of the eagle, but these fish do not have to be alive to be enticing to eagles. During colder months, when fish and even waterfowl are not easily accessible, eagles scavenge more than usual. Moreover, eagles often execute a group attack to steal a carcass from other smaller birds such as falcons or even from coyotes or foxes.

What Do Eagles Scavenge?

Eagles are known to rely on the leftovers of brown bears in order to consume salmon, one of the eagle’s favorite delicacies. The brown bears expend their energy hunting for the fish, and they devour the fish eggs as well as the fatty parts of the body, including the brain. After the bears throw the remainder of the fish onto the water’s edge, eagles swoop in to consume the rest. Eagles have been seen eating animals that were struck on the highway, such as deer and snakes. A seal carcass is another favorite feast of this bird.



“American Bald Eagle – diet and feeding habits.” American Bald Eagle Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.

“Nebraska Game and Parks Commission – Wildlife Species Guide – Bald Eagle.” Nebraska Game and Parks Commission – see you out there. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.