Main Motorcycle: 2008 Bonneville Black
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fountain City, WI
Other Motorcycle: Spousal 2009 Bonnie Black
Here's what the National Eagle Center over in Wabasha, MN has to say about it:
We feel it necessary to respond to the new viral online video, "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" which allegedly depicts a golden eagle grabbing a toddler in a park in Montreal. We find this video dangerously misleading.
First, the bird involved is NOT a golden eagle. While golden eagles can be found near Montreal, they are rarely if ever seen in and around the parks within the city. The bird in the video is a large bird of prey, but not one found in North America as far as any identification is possible.
The call heard on the video is a giveaway that the video has been altered. A golden eagle would not call or scream while approaching prey, as this would alert the prey to their presence. In any case, the call does not belong to a golden eagle. As in many Hollywood productions, the distinctive call of the red-tail hawk has been inserted.
Finally, although golden eagles are able to kill prey many times their own size, they cannot fly off with anything larger than 5 or 6 pounds (maximally about 1/3 of their own weight). The toddler in question would certainly outweigh any eagle, from any continent. No eagle could carry off a toddler, for any distance. Perhaps the footage was faked with an empty jacket to show the bird lifting it so handily. In any event, this toddler was not snatched by a golden eagle.
Eagles have had a bad reputation since Thomas Edison first depicted an eagle carrying off a baby in his first motion picture. Early in American history, golden eagles were hunted by humans because of their alleged predation on humans and livestock. Many eagles were killed as a result of these false accusations against them. If this video encourages the belief that eagles are a danger to humans, then it is indeed dangerous for all eagles.
The interaction between humans and eagles is remarkable. We use the eagle as a symbol of strength, freedom and power. Eagles represent all of these things. They are indeed powerful, but we must also remember, they are vulnerable. Having no natural predator does not mean they live without danger.
The reality is that humans are a far greater danger to eagles than they could ever be to us. Thousands of eagles die as a result of human related causes every year. Lead poisoning debilitates and kills thousands of eagles each year. The lead eagles encounter in the environment is typically found in gut piles and deer carcasses left during the hunting season. Many eagles are injured or killed in collision with power lines and cars. Others suffer electrocution on power poles.
Please take this video and any rumors or accusations against eagles with a grain of salt. If you'd like to learn more about eagles, their biology and ecology, there are a wide variety of reputable resources available. We encourage you to visit the National Eagle Center and meet golden and bald eagles up close and learn more about them.