Apologies for the picture quality.. these are VERY heavily cropped images taken in poor light, handheld, from a long distance away. I did not have a decent lens with me when this happened....
For the last week or so there has been a huge flock of geese behind my house. The bay froze completely over last night (-18C) and in the morning the geese were standing on the ice. As I was looking at them a Bald Eagle swooped down and landed on one of the geese. They all took to the air, this one tried, but with an eagle on it's back it did not get far.
I did not know that eagles hunted geese, and would not have believed it without seeing it.... has anyone else seen this behaviour or heard of it before?
I believe I've seen this behavior before, or at least, seen the aftermath. Last December, I was photographing birds at Chatfield here in Colorado. At one of the gravel ponds, there was a fairly large flock of geese hanging out on the ice. I set up to photograph them, and the whole flock took off. I thought it was me at first, but on the far side of the pond I could see some commotion amongst about five large birds. Turned out they were Golden Eagles, and I think they took down a goose. It took me a while to get around to the other side where I could see them clearly, and by the time I did, the five eagles had already devoured a good portion of the bird they had caught. When I tried to ease my way out from behind some brambles along the shore, three took off, leaving two behind. But the time I was set up, only one remained. A couple of the others seemed to take some of the carcass with them. The remnant also seemed to be a late juvenile, and all he had was some scraps left. Given the color and size of the feathers, I was fairly sure it was a goose. At the other end of the gravel pond (which is rather long, so quite a ways) I found the flock of geese again, and one of them was clearly injured.
So, yes, I do believe eagles will eat geese. It may seem like large prey, but eagles, bald or golden or otherwise, are pretty large, powerful birds, and rather opportunistic when it comes to getting a meal...any opportunity.
Yes, eagles do prey on geese. The Pallas Fish Eagle preys on geese and other water birds and can fly off with prey upto 6 kg in weight.