Bald eagles can really do whatever they want. They are a protected species, giving them a pass to act and go about their lives as they please, and not have to worry about being hunted down (for the most part).
They also look badass doing just about everything, even in this video where it doesn’t even actually pull off what it was trying to do.
In the clip, a couple of foxes look to have just hunted down a rabbit in a grassy field. With the prey dead and in one of the fox’s mouths, the pair of wild animals pridefully walk away from the scene of their hunt unaware that a bald eagle flying above is just about to start its very own.
With no warning, the majestic bird swoops down in ninja-like fashion and grasps ahold of the rabbit hanging from the mouth of the fox with its strong talons. The fox quickly adjusts to the hectic scenario and does its best to stay grounded and low to the dirt to avoid losing its dinner.
The eagle uses its massive wingspan to generate tremendous power, even momentarily picking up both the rabbit and the fox before sending the fox somersaulting through the air.
Though the fox gets thrown off balance, it miraculously keeps its jaws chomped down on the rabbit it caught, not giving up to the bald eagle that outsizes it. Eventually, the big bird lets go of the grasp it had on the rabbit, and flies off after unsuccessfully snatching the meal away from the fox.
Shoutout to the fox for its stick-to-itiveness. If I were the small fox, I would’ve just said “yep, you take it, didn’t even really want it anyways.” The eagle thought it had an easy meal, but turns out the fox wasn’t going to take that laying down.
Could the bald eagle have just taken both the fox and the rabbit in one fell swoop? Or maybe even just gone after the other fox that was by itself? Maybe so, but it did look like it had a tough time picking up the small wild animal, so it might have been a classic “eyes too big for their stomach” scenario.
The video’s caption sheds a little more light on the strategy that the Bald Eagle was trying to put to use:
“Kleptoparasitism is a form of feeding in which one animal takes prey or other food that was caught or collected by another animal.
The term comes from the Greek word “kleptein,” which means “to steal,” and “parasitos,” which means “one who eats at the table of another.”
This survival strategy is definitely not the most noble, but it does allow the klepto to conserve its own energy while another animal does all the work for them – if successful.
In this case, the eagle’s attempt failed, which means the energy expended here was for nothing. Hindsight being 20/20, the raptor might have been better off hunting for itself.”