Forget who it was... Maybe Olaus Murie? Anyway, he wrote up having seen a pair of eagles take down a good-sized calf Elk; might even have been a cow. Read it 30+ years ago, so you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little sketchy on the details...
You’re free to disagree, but the man who wrote the piece I’m recalling was far too well respected to be willing to risk his reputation by publishing any tall tales. I‘m pretty sure that it WAS Murie, and if you don’t know who he was, you should maybe find out before you cut loose with that much bluster.
Sometimes you just have to accept that the world is full of surprises. After all, people win the lottery every day, despite the odds.
The attack described involved repeated strikes at the back of the skull, maybe by a pair working together. Don’t recall offhand whether they eventually landed a knockout blow or if they just kept pushing it until it dropped.
It would be great fun to locate that book again.... I’ve been desperately short of good reading material in the last couple of months…
I get that nature can do some amazing stuff. Obviously, the is something seriously wrong with that pronghorn to just walk around with a golden eagle on its back eating away. I’ve fairly certain these other factors at play besides a pronghorn let an eagle land in its back for a meal. Infinite possibilities.
Golden eagles are opportunistic just like all predators. However, risk of injury rendering it unable to fly is a factor for a raptor. I mean they only weigh around 14 pounds. I’ve done over 20 years of eagle surveys and have seen so amazing stuff. I’ve seen eagles eating on full grown beef cows (injured and alive) but I know it didn’t swoop down and take it down. I’ve never seen eagles hunt in packs/flocks either. I’ve seen 10 eagles eating on one carcass but there was definitely no cooperation. Only fighting and squabbling. It’s anecdotal I know but I’d have to see the video to believe it. No offense.
Maybe I’m get a little callous with so many people telling me they have seen black panthers and Sasquatch in every state and location I’ve done bio work. They are absolutely positive in what they think they saw but I’d have to see it myself.
It IS amazing what people can convince themselves that they’ve seen....
I saw one film clip taken from the dash cam on a police cruiser or state patrol vehicle… It’s at night; the claim is that they saw a dark form running down the road ahead of them at an incredible rate of speed.
But when I looked at it… And thought about it for a minute… it sure looks to me like the shadow of something in the foreground being projected onto a concrete barrier as the road curves up ahead. So because the cruiser was moving at going-to-an-emergency speed (and the unseen animal in the foreground was crossing the road) the angle on whatever was casting a shadow is changing rapidly, and the visual effect is the impression of a much larger animal moving along that wall at warp speed.
So yes, it always pays to keep your BS detector tuned up, but the farther I go in this life, the smaller the slice of it which I am convinced I really understand tends to become...
Pronghorn has no defense from an eagle on it's back. Other than roll around. But their instinct is not to go down. Even so, if it just runs and the eagle attacks again, pretty tough spot to be in. Very cool.
In 1973 my second year antelope hunting by Gillette, Wy my wife and a buddy and I watched a golden take down a lope. It took him 3 swoops to keep the lope down but then it was over. I'll never forget watching it and the ranchers response when we told him " nope, you didn't see that, the government says they can't take my sheep so I guess they can't take an antelope".
Twice I have seen bald eagles riding on the back of an antelope while it was running with obvious blood running down both sides of his back. Only saw one of them go down as I was driving down the road on the other one. This was in the very northwest corner of South Dakota.