Eagles may have a reputation for being merciless predators of the sky, but even they enjoy a good rub now and then. This golden eagle seems content to sit back and relax for a rubdown just before a hunt. What’s astounding is how docile the bird is, which is indicative of its training.
Golden eagles have been used in falconry since at least the Middle Ages. Compared to other hunting birds, eagles are fast, strong, and highly aggressive. This lends well to them being used in teams and a good-sized eagle can even take down prey like deer and antelope, or cull other predators like wolves. Looking at those massive claws, that is not hard to believe.
The following video was posted to YouTube by L’espieAgle, a nonprofit conservation group working to prevent the extinction of golden eagles in Japan. According to the group, less than 300 of the birds are still left on the island.