Do Eagles Attack Human? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

By nature, eagles are highly respected birds. They are frequently seen as a sign of Loyalty, Devotion, Truth, and Honor.

These birds, however, are carnivores. They are also known as birds of prey or raptors. This implies that these birds will chase other creatures for food.

For sustenance, they prey on tiny creatures such as mice, fish, reptiles, and big insects.

Surprisingly, these birds can kill larger birds and mammals such as sheep, seals, and deer.

But what about humans? Should we be concerned about eagle attacks? Well then, let’s find out.

Do Eagles Attack Humans?

Do Eagles Attack Human

Yes, eagles attack humans. There have been a few reports of eagles attacking humans. They can also inflict injuries on humans. Although these injuries may not be severe.

Humans have been reported of being attacked by the golden eagle, African crowned eagle, and Bald Eagle.

But, it remains unclear what their intentions were. However, perceived danger can be a key motivation for their attacks.

Nonetheless, eagles attacking humans is not a regular occurrence. This can only happen if you pose a threat to them. 

Related: Here is an article I wrote on eagles and keeping them as pets

Are Eagles Aggressive

Eagles are aggressive birds. They are well-known for their savagery. When they are nesting, they become much more aggressive.

Eagles are extremely sensitive to human presence and behavior. As a result, if they detect danger, they may inflict injury to humans. Some may be compelled to flee their nest to find safety.

You should keep at least 330 feet away from any nest. This is according to federal law. And, it also applies to individual eagles that may be standing on the ground or perched on their tree. 

Bald eagles are the most intolerant of human interaction during the breeding season. Bald eagles may abandon their nest if they feel endangered by people, especially during the breeding season.

As a result, this law assures that the eagles do not hurt you. It also keeps them from being harassed by humans and also from fleeing their nests.

Please stay a safe distance away from the nest. And it is important that you use binoculars to observe the nest and the eagle.

This also applies to other birds of prey. To be safe, stay a safe distance from them and respect the bird’s space.

  • Eagles are also violent when attacking their prey. 
  • Recent research has shown that male harpy eagles are known to exhibit an outbreak of aggressiveness towards female harpy eagles. 
  • Eagles are also aggressive primarily in response to territorial disputes.

Can An Eagle Kill A Human

Eagles have powerful and magnificent talons. They use this to capture and kill their prey.

When the talons of an eagle are compressed, they may break a bone.

They also have strong razor beaks that they utilize to shred flesh. With these features, is very possible that they can kill humans.

Eagles’ attacks are fierce and aggressive. Such violent actions might cause severe damage to the lungs, arteries, or other internal organs in the human body.

This can kill a person in split seconds.  

Apex predators include eagles. Apex is derived from a Latin word that means “peak” or “top.”

Apex predators are the apex predators in the food chain. In their native environments, they do not have predators. Man or climate changes are generally threats to these species.

An alert and courageous person will undoubtedly overcome this large bird.

Using their wing-beat, eagles can reach a speeds of 30 miles per hour. When diving for prey, they are even quicker.

Such a rapid burst of speed and force might knock a person off balance and leave him vulnerable to attacks.

According to recent studies, the Harpy Eagle is capable of killing humans. An Eagle may kill a person on a good day with luck on its side. Eagles attack incessantly and brutally.

However, eagles are powerful birds. They don’t like to be vulnerable. And so, attacking people might make them vulnerable to human attacks.

Because of this, they would very certainly avoid attacking humans

Also check out this article I wrote on do eagles mate for life

What To Do When Attacked By Eagles

As previously stated, eagles rarely attack humans. They are only triggered to attack when a human approaches their nest.

However, if you get attacked by an eagle, the following tips can help;

Runaway: Our natural tendency as humans is to flee from impending danger. it is advisable to employ this tendency. It is best to flee from these birds of prey as quickly as possible.

Get a head covering: When attacking, eagles go for the head. As a result, it is best to reach for the nearest object you can locate. If a branch is all you can find, it will be of great assistance. Hold it over your head to protect your head from the eagle’s large talons.

Make yourself appear bigger: You can do this by putting your hands up and making yourself appear way larger than you are. This may frighten the eagle. This, however, takes a great deal of bravery.

Kill it: It is against the law to kill eagles. So killing an eagle would be a violation of the law. However, if the bird has seriously injured you and continues to attack you, by all means, defend yourself.

It is best to avoid these birds as much as you can. That way, you would avoid their attacks. And would have no stories to tell.

Has an Eagle ever eaten a Human

Several investigations have revealed that these formidable birds of prey previously munched on early humans.

The majority of an Eagle’s diet consists of animals and birds such as gulls, geese, rabbits, lambs, and kittens. They also like different kinds of seafood and marine birds.

Typically, Humans are too large for an Eagle to consider making them a meal. However, eagles are large and strong enough to fly away with human babies. 

There have also been reports of eagles snatching little children. Sometime in 2019, it was recorded that a martial eagle killed an infant and injured two others in Ethiopia. 

According to another  research, the African Crowned Eagle has been known to attack and feed on human babies occasionally. However, this is most likely possible in the absence of an adult human.

Susanne Schultz, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Liverpool in England, mentioned a record of a young child’s skull discovered in an eagle’s nest. This was a case found in South Africa.

Another interesting discovery is that of the Taung child. The Taung child was presumably picked up by an Eagle and carried to its nest.

There, its eyes were torn out for nourishment for the bird. This was a case mentioned by Lee Berger, a philanthropist at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

How to avoid attack by an Eagle 

Nobody wants to be caught in a compromising situation such as being attacked by an Eagle. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid being attacked by eagles; 

  • Respect an Eagle’s space. Eagles avoid human activities as much as possible. Likewise, it is best to avoid theirs also. 

It is wise not to invade their spaces. They can attack violently and aggressively just to protect themselves. 

  • Hanging shiny objects such as CDs and aluminum foils in your compound can help as well. This has been found to deter them from coming close. CDs have been known to be a great deterrent for birds not just eagles.
  • Repellent Spray for birds can also keep them away from you. Spray them on your clothes before heading to locations where there are eagles. 
  • Do not leave your toddlers unattended in areas where there are eagles. They have a reputation for seizing human babies as meals. Human babies are less meat and easier for Eagles to grasp with their talons.

Can Eagles Fly Into You

If you’re wondering if an eagle will fly into you as you go about your day, look no further, It’s never going to happen. 

Eagles are majestic birds of prey that fly at great heights. They can see further than we think. Is there a man who can see clearly and sharply from 5 feet away?

Well kudos, but eagles can see at a height of 20 feet. Amazing, isn’t it?

They have fantastic visions. Their keen vision allows them to spot prey from long distances.

Humans, of course, are not prey for eagles. As a result, it is unlikely that they will fly into you.

Except you’re right next to their nest.

Do Eagles Bite

Eagles do not bite. They do not have any teeth. Their bills have ridges that allow them to get a firm grip on flesh and tear it apart.

Eagles, like other birds, have specialized feeding beaks. It assists them in slicing their meals into tiny pieces before swallowing.

their beaks and talons are made of keratin. Again, their beaks, like human fingernails, are constantly growing. An eagle cleans his beak on rocks to keep them in good condition.


In history, there have been a few documented cases of Eagles attacking humans. Eagles typically avoid humans because they perceive humans to be predators.

However, if an eagle attacks a human, it may be doing so to protect its nest. It is best to stay far away from their nest. 

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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