Eagle Vs. Reindeer

Sometimes, nature needs a metal soundtrack.

The BBC posted two videos of golden eagles hunting baby reindeer in Finland. They don't have an embed option, so you'll have to follow the link to watch. It's the first time this has ever been filmed. In fact, the native Sami people have been saying for years that eagle on reindeer violence was going on, but most experts didn't believe them until scientist Harri Norberg from the University of Lapland gathered forensic (and, now, this video) evidence for his Ph.D. thesis. His incredibly awesome Ph.D. thesis.


You look tasty, but I'm saving my appetite for the baby reindeer. Golden eagle image (man pictured NOT Harri Norberg) courtesy Flickr user mikebaird, via CC

To kill a reindeer, the birds strike it in a specific region in its withers, driving their talons into the mammal's lungs. "They are not killing anything instantly so they have to ride like a rodeo cowboy on the back of the calf," explained Dr. Ted Oakes, [the television producer who worked with Norberg on the filming]. "This is an extremely dangerous thing for an eagle to do, because the prey is much larger and heavier."

The downside: The video was taken from fairly far away. But even with the squinting, this is pretty cool.