Eagle Steals a Camera and Creates One-of-a-Kind Film

Candice Gaukel Andrews April 17, 2014 6

Some say Australia’s Kimberley region is the ultimate wilderness, with its ocher, sandstone gorges; waterfalls plunging over cliffs; and dazzling, white-sand beaches. ©Mike Moore

The recent popularity of GoPros and other helmet cameras have certainly given us some amazing footage of the natural world, the likes of which have never been viewed before. Now, it seems, an eagle in western Australia has picked up on the trend.

Shortly after rangers set up a motion-sensor camera at a gorge on the Margaret River in the Kimberley—a beautiful stretch of rugged coast—to try and capture images of freshwater crocodiles, the camera went missing. The rangers thought it fell into the water and was gone forever. But a few weeks later, they received a phone call from another ranger who had found the device near the Mary River, almost 70 miles away.

What the rangers discovered when they retrieved the video astounded them. The footage revealed that a juvenile eagle had scooped up the camera and then took flight. While other camera traps in the region had been moved by animals before, this marked one of the first times such a piece of equipment was picked up and flown over remote terrain.

After reviewing the footage, the rangers surmised that this particular eagle was young. Adult eagles, after lifting food or prey high into the air, usually drop it. This camera-stealing eagle, however, flies to a cliff but never lets go of the camera. The bird simply places it on the ground and starts to peck at it.

The rangers were able to extract three, 30-second clips from the recovered footage, a minute of which you can watch, below.

While the unusual angles are a bit disorienting, I’d say it’s a good first effort from a young, action-camera-wielding director.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,



  1. Frankie Laney April 21, 2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Agree with Natasha Puente Borrego. Great laugh and fun way to start the week!

  2. David Witt April 21, 2014 at 6:53 am - Reply

    The eagle wanted to send out some pictures from home! Nice work, Candice.

  3. Oraib Nawash, PhD. April 19, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing! It is just like when kids play, so lovely!

  4. Andre Breberina April 19, 2014 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Figures! Everybody wants a selfie.

  5. Wayne Bernhardson April 19, 2014 at 10:19 am - Reply

    In the Falkland Islands, I’ve had a striated caracara steal a lens cap, but they’re not quite big enough to carry off a camera.

  6. Natasha Puente Borrego April 19, 2014 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Hilarious! Thank you for sharing!

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