Do Eagles Eat Snakes? [Not In Preferred Menu!!]




Do eagles eat snakes

Curious about the dining habits of eagles? Ever wondered if these majestic birds have a taste for slithery snacks? Then, let’s explore whether eagles like to have snakes in their diets and everything on this eagle-snake relationship.

So, do eagles really eat snakes? 

Yes, eagles do eat snakes. These mighty birds have a diverse diet, and snakes are indeed on the menu. With their sharp talons and keen eyesight, eagles can spot, catch, and consume various snake species as part of their natural diet. 

This hunting behavior showcases the adaptability and impressive hunting skills of these magnificent creatures.

There are specific eagles specialized only to eat snakes. But, do all eagles eat snakes? Do eagles eat all snakes (including poisonous ones)? Let’s discuss all that in detail. 

The Predator and the Prey: Eagles and Snakes

The Diet of Eagles

Eagles, the majestic rulers of the sky, are undeniably apex predators with a remarkable dietary repertoire. The Diet of Eagles paints a picture of their prowess as versatile hunters. 

With a discerning palate, eagles exhibit a penchant for diversity, opting for a wide array of prey. This flexibility stems from their ability to adapt to the ever-changing availability of food sources. 

From fish to small mammals, eagles showcase their predatory mastery by effortlessly snatching up their next meal.

Snakes as Potential Prey

Do eagles eat snakes
An eagle eats a snake

Intriguingly, among these prey items, snakes as potential prey hold a unique place. These serpentine creatures occupy a pivotal role in the diet of various eagle species. 

The significance of snakes as natural food sources for eagles extends beyond mere sustenance. 

Their abundance in ecosystems makes them an accessible and crucial nutritional option for these soaring predators. The role of snakes as ecological puzzle pieces is undeniable, contributing to the balance of the food web.

Eagle Species and Snake Consumption

Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagles are renowned for their impressive hunting abilities, and their relationship with snakes adds another layer to their dietary prowess. 

These majestic birds exhibit a distinct feeding behavior when it comes to snakes. 

Commonly consumed snake species by bald eagles include garter snakes and water snakes, which often inhabit areas near water bodies – a favored hunting ground for these eagles. 

What’s truly attracting is the array of adaptations and techniques employed by bald eagles to catch snakes. 

With a combination of keen eyesight and agile talons, they swoop down and snatch these serpents, showcasing their strategic prowess as aerial hunters.

Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos)

Meanwhile, Golden Eagles offer a unique perspective on snake consumption. These birds have a broader habitat range, often occupying mountainous and open landscapes where snakes thrive. 

Unlike bald eagles, golden eagles might not always focus on water-associated prey. Instead, they exploit their preferred habitats, including grasslands and rocky terrains, to interact with snakes as part of their diet. 

Their hunting strategies may differ from those of their bald counterparts, reflecting their adaptability to various landscapes.

One of the most common snake species in the Golden Eagle’s diet is Gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer). 

You can find more scientific facts on Golden Eagle diet in this article

Other Notable Eagle Species which mainly feed on Snakes

NameScientific nameDistribution
Nicobar Serpent EagleSpilornis klossiGreat Nicobar and Menchal
Sulawesi Serpent EagleSpilornis rufipectusIndonesia
Mountain Serpent EagleSpilornis kinabaluensisNorthern Borneo
Crested Serpent EagleSpilornis cheelaAsia and South East Asia
Philippine Serpent EagleSpilornis holospilusPhilippine Is from Luzon S to Mindanao
Andaman Serpent EagleSpilornis elginiAndaman Island
Congo Serpent EagleDryotriorchis spectabilisCentral Africa
Short-toed Snake-EagleCircaetus gallicusAfrica, Europe, China and Mongolia
Beaudouin’s Snake-EagleCircaetus beaudouiniMauritania, Senegambia, Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya
Black-creasted Snake-EagleCircaetus pectoralisEritrea and Ethiopia to South Africa
Brown Snake-EagleCircaetus cinereusAfrica
Fasciated Snake-EagleCircaetus fasciolatusSomalia, Mozambique,Tanzania and NE South Africa
Banded Snake-EagleCircaetus cinerascensEthiopia, Angola, Namibia and Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

The Significance of Eagles Eating Snakes

Ecological Balance

Eagles soaring through the sky, feasting on snakes, play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems. These majestic birds of prey help keep snake populations in check, preventing them from spiraling out of control. 

By preying on snakes, eagles prevent these creatures from becoming overly abundant, which could disrupt the balance of the entire ecosystem. 

Imagine a world where snakes multiply unchecked – it could lead to an overabundance of prey animals and a decline in other species. 

Eagles act as nature’s guardians, helping to control snake numbers and ensuring a harmonious environment.

Conservation Implications

While the sight of eagles swooping down to catch a snake is awe-inspiring, it also carries important conservation implications. 

Understanding the interactions between eagles and snakes can provide valuable insights for conservation efforts. Conservationists can use this knowledge to protect both eagle and snake species. 

For eagles, preserving their habitats and ensuring their prey base remains stable is crucial. 

Simultaneously, safeguarding snake habitats and ensuring they have enough resources to thrive can help maintain a healthy balance. 

By appreciating the significance of eagles eating snakes, we not only gain a deeper understanding of nature’s complex web but also take a step towards preserving the beauty and balance of our natural world.

Can snakes harm the eagle ?

With keen eyesight eagles rarely missed a target which is directly going to grab the snake by head. 

Therefore no chance for the snake to attack back on the eagle. Even if the eagle misses grabbing the snake head the thick scales on eagle legs provide a good shield against the snake bites. 

So the answer is probably NO. 

Do Eagles Eat Poisonous Snakes?

When it comes to facing poisonous snakes, do they dare to feast? The answer is yes, with a twist. While some eagles do indeed prey on venomous serpents, they have evolved remarkable tactics to minimize the risk. 

These adept hunters often target the head of the snake, where the venomous fangs are located, and use their powerful talons to strike swiftly and accurately. This strategic approach helps them avoid getting bitten while indulging in their meal.

However, it’s important to note that not all eagles are keen on tangling with poisonous prey. 

Different species have varying preferences and strategies. Some eagles, like the African Martial Eagle, have been observed tackling venomous snakes with apparent confidence. On the other hand, others may opt for less risky prey options.

Eagle Eating Snakes: Fascinating Facts and Myths

Cultural Symbolism

The intertwining of eagles and snakes in cultures around the world has sparked fascinating stories and symbolism. 

In many societies, eagles symbolize strength, freedom, and keen vision, while snakes often represent transformation and hidden knowledge. 

This contrast in symbolism has given rise to myths and legends, where eagles and snakes engage in epic battles of good versus evil. 

In Native American folklore, for instance, the eagle is revered as a spiritual messenger and a connection to the divine, while snakes are often associated with the earth’s mysteries and healing. 

Such cultural depictions reflect the ethno-biological dynamics of the natural world.

Notable Observations

Real-life encounters between eagles and snakes have left observers in jaw-dropping situations. 

Picture the powerful dive of a bald eagle as it snatches a wriggling snake from the ground, showcasing its hunting prowess. Documented instances reveal the tactics eagles employ, such as using their sharp talons to immobilize the snake’s head. 

These interactions not only highlight the eagle’s remarkable hunting abilities but also provide insight into the delicate balance of predator and prey. These encounters aren’t merely nature’s dramas; they are essential for maintaining ecosystems.


In conclusion, the relationship between eagles and snakes unveils a fascinating saga of predator and prey. 

We’ve discussed the essential role eagles play in maintaining ecological balance by controlling snake populations. Their remarkable hunting abilities not only showcase their prowess but also contribute to the overall health of ecosystems. 

From cultural symbolism to real-life observations, eagles and snakes continue to mesmerize us with their intricate dance in nature’s theater. 

As we reflect on the significance of these interactions, let’s remember that the delicate balance they uphold is a testament to the intricate tapestry of life. 

So, let your curiosity take flight, and explore the fascinating world of eagles and snakes, where nature’s drama unfolds in every swoop and strike.