Tag Archives: wing span

Golden Eagle at El Toro Marine Corps AS

A Stop Before Work

I made a quick stop coming into work this morning by the El Toro Marine Base. Flying overhead was the Golden Eagle that I have heard has been in the area recently. It appeared that there was some rather small bird chasing it. This seemed a bit unusual so I thought I’d watch what happened. I got out my camera to take a couple photos. So maybe I could figure out later what the smaller bird was that was chasing the eagle.

Smaller bird chasing Golden Eagle

My first looks at the smaller bird chasing the Golden Eagle

The Realization

As I watched the smaller bird chasing the eagle it began to dawn on me what that small bird was. That was no small bird. The small bird was a Red-tailed Hawk! Furthermore, he has a 4+ foot wing span. Seeing these two birds next to each other in flight really makes it clear how big that eagle is.

Golden Eagle being chased by Red-tailed Hawk

At a closer look the smaller bird is a Red-tailed Hawk!

Getting Close

As I continued to watch, the hawk was getting closer and closer to the eagle. Pretty soon, wow, he is right behind the eagle. Now I am beginning to wonder what is going on here. Wow, he is getting close!

Eagle chased by Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk is getting very close.

The Attack

Now the excitement really escalates. So to my amazement and mid-air… ATTACK! The Red-tailed Hawk finally attacks the Golden Eagle. This is probably 100+ feet overhead. The eagle flips upside down and both raptors go at each other with talons extended.

Twice I watch this until the two raptors are out of view. This is not because they far away but because they are dropping in altitude and I loose sighting of them with a nearby low hill and obstructions. What a sight!!! It was also a stroke of luck that I decided to take a picture.

aerial attack on a Golden Eagle by a Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk attacks the Golden Eagle in an incredible aerial display!