What do eagles eat?

Answer
Eagles are opportunistic predators and scavengers with a varied diet. Here are the key points about what eagles eat, based on the provided search results:

Primary Diet

  • Fish comprise 70-90% of the bald eagle's diet3. They prefer fish as their primary food source and are found in great densities near abundant fish populations1.
  • They hunt for fish by scanning from a high perch and grabbing them from the water's surface with their talons2. They may also steal fish from other piscivorous birds like ospreys12.

Other Prey

  • Eagles also prey on a variety of birds like ducks, geese, coots, and other waterfowl, especially injured or easy-to-catch ones12
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  • They hunt small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, prairie dogs, groundhogs, and muskrats over grasslands and marshes123.
  • Reptiles like snakes and turtles are also part of their diet2
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Scavenging

  • Eagles are opportunistic scavengers and will readily eat carrion or dead animals123
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  • They feed on road-killed deer, elk, seals, otters, whales, and even scavenge from waste dumps and fish processing plants2.
  • Young eagles that are not proficient hunters often rely more on scavenging3
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Food Quantity

  • An average 10 lb eagle requires 0.6-1 lb of food per day, or 219-365 lbs per year, depending on its activity level and food energy content3
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In summary, while fish is the predominant food source for eagles, they are versatile predators and scavengers that consume a wide variety of prey and carrion to meet their nutritional needs123
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