What do bald eagles eat?

Bald eagles are opportunistic predators with a varied diet. Based on the provided search results, here are the key points about what bald eagles eat:

Primary Food Source

  • Fish comprise about 70-90% of their diet24. They primarily hunt for fish near the surface of water bodies and prefer areas with abundant fish populations13.

Other Prey

  • Bald eagles will also feed on waterfowl (ducks, geese), small mammals (rabbits, squirrels, prairie dogs), reptiles (turtles, snakes), amphibians, and carrion (dead animals)134.
  • They are known to steal prey like fish from other birds like ospreys34.
  • Bald eagles are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever is readily available, even scavenging from landfills or trash5.

Feeding Habits

  • They use their powerful talons to catch live prey and sharp beaks to tear food into pieces3.
  • Bald eagles can digest bones and fur/feathers, regurgitating indigestible parts as pellets5.
  • They can go days without eating by storing food temporarily in their crop5.
  • Adults eat around 0.5-1 pound of food per day on average25.
In summary, while fish is the staple diet for bald eagles, they are versatile predators that will consume a variety of prey including birds, mammals, reptiles, and carrion depending on availability in their habitat12345.
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