Raptors, such as this Golden Eagle, often use a technique called stooping to catch their prey. After spotting a small bird or mammal, the raptor will dive nearly straight down, pulling in its wings to increase speed. This rapid descent allows the raptor to surprise its prey and increases the force of the blow when the raptor hits the animal.
This video accompanies Chapter 5, Avian Flight, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.
Recorded by Eric Liner