Sea eagle behaviour

To: Philip Veerman <>,
Subject: Sea eagle behaviour
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:10:03 +1000
When we were at Gunbower on the Murray some years ago, there were lots of turtle shells, lying about in the camping area and on roads and tracks. Many were broken. People there told me that they were not very often run over by cars, but that Sea-Eagles drop them from a height to smash them and eat the contents. Not a thing you'd want dropped on your head. Readers of Terry Pratchett will remember /Small Gods/. Classical scholars will remember Aeschylus.

Anthea Fleming

On 30/09/2013 9:14 AM, Philip Veerman wrote:
Interesting story. I would believe it. About the only thing I know of that
is similar is of some other eagle species catching tortoises and flying up
high to drop them on rocks, the Lammergeier is reported to do the same with
big bones. There are a few possibilities or questions. Did the Sea-Eagle
intentionally drop the piglet in the swamp, in which the benefit may be to
hope it would drown, but as their usual prey is adept in the water, that
would seem to be a dumb strategy, or did it lose grip maybe of a struggling
animal as it happened to be flying over the swamp?

Did these guys keep the piglet or help the Sea-Eagle get its meal or leave
it to die some other way presumably?


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of

Sent: Monday, 30 September 2013 7:17 AM
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Sea eagle behaviour

Greetings all,
I've just returned from a week at Strathburn Cattle Station which lies 120
kms north west of Musgrave Station on Cape York. The birding was fascinating
but the following story from two locals who verified the tale to me
independently got me thinking. The two station hands were having a break by
a very large swamp which is about 6 kms around its perimeter. It was April
this year just after the wet season. They noticed a White-bellied Sea-eagle
carrying something as it was flying across the swamp. It dropped its bundle
from a height of about 150 meters and flew on. A few minutes later both men
were stunned when a tiny piglet swam ashore and raced under their vehicle,
screaming in terror. They caught the piglet and noted talon marks on its
body. The Sea-eagle came back and circled the centre of the swamp seemingly
searching for something. It was an interesting yarn and I'm sure the two
observers weren't just having me on. My question is, is this typical
Sea-eagle behavior? I'd be interested if anyone else has heard of similar
regards, Gary Oliver


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 2013.0.3408 / Virus Database: 3222/6708 - Release Date: 09/29/13


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU