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Epic Friendship: Man Plays Fetch With Bald Eagle!

man teaches bald eagle to play fetch
Image by @Steve Abbott via YouTube

Bald eagles are famously talented hunters. But as it turns out, there’s a softer side to them, and which perhaps shows off their intelligence even better. Watch the results of years of trust-building and training: a man teaches a bald eagle to play fetch.

This Big Bird Is a Strong Fighter

Man Teaches Bald Eagle to Play Fetch
Image by Steve Abbott via YouTube

The bird featured in the video’s name is Hali, a bald eagle with a unique beak deformity. Her inability to hunt and eat independently left her vulnerable in the wild and to ensure her survival she was taken in to a rehabilitation center.

Bond Between Bird and Man

Man Teaches Bald Eagle to Play Fetch
Image by Steve Abbott via YouTube

Steve Abbott is the who has trained and worked with Hali at the rehab center. It took around two years for Hali to learn these tricks.

A Game of Fetch

Man Teaches Bald Eagle to Play Fetch
Image by Steve Abbott via YouTube

Although the game of fetch in the video seems carefree, it should be underlined that it took nearly two years of patient interaction with her caregivers to reach this level of trust. 


Man Teaches Bald Eagle to Play Fetch
Image by Steve Abbott via YouTube

You should definitely not try this at home – remember that, after all, they’re predators with a lethally sharp beak and claws. But we can still be amazed at the softer side of this fierce bird from a distance.

You can watch the video here.

YouTube video
“Bald eagle plays fetch”, Source: YouTube, Uploaded: Steve Abbott

Can You Keep Bald Eagles as Pets?

bald eagle national animal of the U.S.
Two bald eagles. Image by Veronika_Andrews via Pixabay

If this video could maybe put you in the mood for swapping out your parrot for a slightly bigger (and let’s face it, cooler) bird, know that that’s not going to work unless you have a special permit for rehabilitation and educational purposes. 


Bald Eagle. Image via Depositphotos.

Without a permit, it is illegal to keep bald eagles as pets, and keeping one can lead to severe legal consequences.

How Intelligent Are Bald Eagles?

A photo of four American Bald Eagles sitting on a perch. Image via Depositphotos

Bald eagles are not only majestic birds, they are also super smart animals (as most birds are).

Their intelligence especially shines through when we observe their advanced hunting strategies and social interactions. Researchers have also observed that these birds are capable of problem-solving and can adapt their behavior based on their environment.

Incredible Vision

bald eagle
Portrait of a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Image via Depositphotos

Eagles have exceptionally sharp eyesight, allowing them to spot prey from over two miles away. Their eyes are specially adapted with a high number of cone cells, providing them with superior visual acuity and the ability to see ultraviolet light.

Impressive Speed

Bald eagle flying
Bald eagle national animal of the U.S. Image by Stephen Meyers via Pexels

In a dive, an eagle can reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. This incredible speed, combined with their powerful talons, makes them formidable hunters capable of catching fast-moving prey in mid-air.

Symbol of Strength

Bald Eagle
Close up shot of United States iconic bird facing camera with wings spread in flight. Image via Depositphotos

Eagles are often seen as symbols of power and freedom. The bald eagle, for example, is the national bird and symbol of the United States, representing strength, courage, and freedom due to its majestic appearance and soaring flight.


Bald Eagle. Image via Depositphotos.

Thank you for reading this article about the bald eagle that plays fetch! For more bald eagle news, take a look at these posts:

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