I was pig hunting up near Paso Robles a few years ago. The rancher said that he lost sheep occasionally due to the Golden Eagles carrying them off. I thought in my mind that he was probably stretching it quite a bit as even the little sheep are still pretty big. Maybe they'll feed on a dead one but they couldn't carry off a 20-25lb lamb.
The next day we were driving down the road and there was a Golden Eagle eating something on the ground (ground squirrel or something) next to an old burt out wooden fence post. The bird was big as it was just about as tall as the fence post but the post was burned.
As we got closer the bird flew away leaving his kill. As we went up to see what it was we realized that the fence post that he was standing next to was almost 4 feet tall. After seeing that I didn't question quite as much the ranchers claims that one could carry off a small lamb without too much trouble. It's always hard to tell how big something is in the sky when you have no background or other object to compare it to but this bird had to be huge when compared to this post.
I drove by one that was standing by a road in Apple Valley last year. Biggest bird I've ever seen. Very impressive. He was only about 4 feet from the roadway, but didn't appear bothered at all by the cars. Saw a Natl Geographic segment where they showed film of one chasing and catching a antelope fawn as the whole herd was running away from it.
Elmer Keith writes in one of his books that the eagles would snatch baby sheep off their high mountain beds and drop them to their deaths before eating them.
I remember as a kid when I would go visit family on the coast back when there were a lot of sheep ranches, before the coyotes took over. The sheep ranchers would shoot the eagles and drape them across the fences to scare off other eagles, they hated them. We seen four while chukar hunting in NV and they are a beautiful sight, I guess unless they are eating the profits.
Scotty (gobblemaster), you eagle shooter you! I shot me an eagle too!
Kewl pic of those golden eagles. I'm pretty sure we saw a golden at FHL this past weekend near the campground along the road. I pulled over for a pic and the bird flew off before I could get the camera out. It was a lot bigger than a red tail and was squishing up a ground squirrel.
Awhile later we we're glassing the elk om the tank range and this bald eagle flew up in a tree nearby. I did manage a few pics of the bald eagle. As grandpa used to say, them bald eagles is just souped up buzzards.
Camera was an Olympus 2100 digital with a 1.7 B300 tele lens on it. Range was about 125 yards to the eagle.