View Full Version : Eagle vs Fox - Photoshop or genuine?

14th Dec 2013, 11:29
Here's what appears to be a prize-winning snapshot of an Aussie Wedgetail eagle making off with a live fox.

What do PPRuNers think? Photoshop or genuine??


The bloke who claims to have taken the amazing shot (Scott Bell), explains it thus ....

"We just finished picking up wheat from the harvester and saw a fox jump out of the crop then an eagle came out of nowhere and grabbed it." he said.
"I jumped out of the tractor and managed to take that photo.
Right place, right time. Just lucky I guess."

Eagles prey on foxes in wheatbelt - ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-05/flying-foxes-in-the-wheatbelt/5138450)

I know this country well, and I've seen some amazing sights that involved wildlife in the over the 50 yrs I've spent in rural W.A. - but I've never seen a Wedgetail with a live OR even a dead fox.

I smelt Photoshop - then I found this ...

Mongolian Eagle Hunters (https://www.google.com.au/search?q=mongolian+eagles+foxes&oq=mo&aqs=chrome.3.69i60l3j69i59l2j69i57.2604j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8)

Now, I'm not so sure about my Photoshop opinion. The countryside is flat out here, so the distant horizon would normally be virtually level.
The fact the horizon is slightly angled, seems to reinforce a fast "snap" shot after a grab for the camera. If its genuine, it's certainly a remarkable photo.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 12:01
Checked it out in CS5.

It certainly looks a bit suspect, especially around the bottom of the fox´s rear legs. The file size makes it impossible to say for sure.

El G.

14th Dec 2013, 12:05
I have no trouble believing that such an event is quite possible - based on my own experiences. The fox in the picture is relatively small, and young foxes are very naive and easily cornered.

I've seen my last farm dog 'corner' a young fox cub under a field bin so effectively that I was able to dispatch Vulpes vulpes with the lifting bar for the bin. I've also hit two young foxes in the same instant with the farm ute on a back road - they made no effort to move but held their ground in the middle of the track.

Some years ago in Brachina Gorge I actually saw a wedgie swoop down in front of us and grab a young emu chick whose father was momentarily distracted by our vehicle. We gave chase (the extra load brought the wedgie up to Max AUW) and the eagle eventually dropped its cargo which then ran off into the bushes at the side of the track.

The event depicted in the picture is quite possible. Knowing that, I'd have to accept the picture as almost certainly genuine.

And knowing also first hand what a fox can do in a flock of chooks or turkeys, I have not the slightest bit of sympathy for the damned creature. :E


14th Dec 2013, 12:36
An Eagle can carry off a hare, rabbit, lamb so yes, I would believe it possible.

Plenty of people carry cameras with them when out working in fields.

Young foxes are as dumb as. And I mean dumb, especially when the vixen is not around to warn them of danger. ie A mate I took shooting shot 4 pups bigger than that off a dead 'roo bait with 9 shots !!! And even thought he kept missing they hung around because "mum" had told them to stay put and they
didn't know what the sound was.

Also, it is likely the Eagle has been around before and knows possible
game gets flushed out of paddocks or in the case of a mate of mine,
the eagle comes down and hangs around when he is hunting as he leaves
a rabbit on a fence post for him.

So it is likely the Eagle has learn't to hang around moving machinery.

No difference between jumping out and snapping a photo and jumping out
and shooting something like the fox. Same timescale.

Though he was also lucky in getting it just right !

Just my HO.

14th Dec 2013, 12:38
Shouldn't the foxes tail be flowing backwards in the airflow,or do eagles do VTO :confused:

Sleeve Wing
14th Dec 2013, 12:51

VTO ? Yes, initially with such a weight; look at the eagle's wing stroke.

I've flown a golden eagle ("Morgan") at a hawk sanctuary in the New Forest.
Eagles have no fear of attacking a fox if they're hungry.
A large hare wouldn't even survive the first hit !

I have photographs but, unfortunately, do not know how to post them on Pprune.

14th Dec 2013, 12:53
VTO ????

The eagle's forward movement won't be that fast, that Eagle would be flapping
like mad to gain height and airspeed. When I see them take off with something,
it can all look a bit ungainly !!!

VTO, vertical take off :ugh::ugh:

I think it said swooped down but picking something up of weight slows
forward momentum a fair bit.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 13:01
When it is ramped up to 500% there are loads of strange artefacts around the outlines of the bird and the fox.

My call would be "FAKE"

El G.

14th Dec 2013, 13:04
Sleeve Wing

"I have photographs but, unfortunately, do not know how to post them on PPRuNe."

Go to TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (http://www.tinypic.com)

No membership, easy to load up, then copy the IMG code and post in a thread
and the photos come up.

14th Dec 2013, 13:12
An eagle, a fox and cats altogether...

Mrs Eagle, Todd the Fox, My Cats Suitcase, Gizmo and George Hanging Out On My Porch - YouTube

"May peace reign during this festive period, 'on Earth as it does in Heaven', Amen..."?! :ok:

PS. See Pam Aus' other videos here (http://www.youtube.com/user/pla1554alaska/videos)...

14th Dec 2013, 13:12
I just looked to see if I could see any other photos on the net.

Found this one which was interesting, a bit slow to move off from
approaching car.


14th Dec 2013, 13:21
EG, a lo-res highly compressed JPEG viewed at 500%, there's bound to be artefacts, is there not? I can't see how anyone can tell just from this image alone.

Anyway, why bother?:\ Hardly a Museum piece is it?

14th Dec 2013, 13:21

"I am sure it is not beyond the bounds of possibility for an eagle, having a bad eyesight day to try and make off with prey that is too large to be easily carried but I doubt that any self respecting eagle would pursue such activities on a regular basis..."

The thing is, they do pursue such activities on a regular basis.

Every single day in fact. Circling above sheep flocks / paddocks for
rabbits, hares, lambs. A hare would be as big as that fox.

14th Dec 2013, 13:23
" EG, a lo-res highly compressed JPEG viewed at 500%,
there's bound to be artefacts, is there not?"

I agree.

Next time I am out bush, I will see if I can get one that is around to
pick up a large hunk of meat or a hare or something.

14th Dec 2013, 13:46
Possible, yes. But I think the picture is a fake. Enlarge it and look at the interaction between the eagle's claws and the fox.

14th Dec 2013, 13:51

That fox couldn't kill that Eagle in a fit. They are clumsy as anything at that age, fed dead mice etc by Mum. (I shot the vixen of the 4 pups mentioned above about 15 minutes later as she headed back to them, she had a mouth full of mice yet they had a full kangaroo to eat so it shows they don't have the strength !!!).

It might give it a nip but one bite from that beak and it is all over.

And those claws would be strangling the air out of the fox as it flies.

Lightning Mate
14th Dec 2013, 13:52
I use Photoshop a lot - in the past professionally.

This would have to use multiple "extract" images, which are very very difficult to do with things like feathers and hair. Extensive use of the "clone stamp" tool would also then be required.

I have no doubt that the image is genuine.

14th Dec 2013, 13:54
I suppose what I was trying to get at was that a good Photoshop faker would hardly bother with something so relatively mundane.

LM, I have to disagree. With good source material, that comp is a doddle.

14th Dec 2013, 14:03

Of course it is a fox cub, you can see it in then photo.

That's why I was talking about fox cubs in my posts, didn't you read them ?

If it was or was said it was a full grown fox, even I would have questioned it
or called it a fake.

A Wedgie taking a hair is one thing, a full grown adult fox another.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 14:05
It is not about there being artefacts, it is about where the artefacts are situated.

That just happens to be all round the profile of the eagle and its prey.

Check for yourself if you have a half decent photo-edit programme.

Still reckon it is fake.

El G.

14th Dec 2013, 14:10


I was going to call you one of those Urbanites that is so far removed from
nature and reality that you think meat is grown on plastic trays for the supermarket ;) :O

14th Dec 2013, 14:11
"it's the fox bit which makes me wonder."

The fox is exactly as I remember fox cubs to be, all be it through the scope
before they become red mist ;)

14th Dec 2013, 14:17
Aaaaahhhh, a country bumpkin ;):O

14th Dec 2013, 14:21
I trust you all watched the Kazakh and Mongolian eagle-hunting videos?

"The foxes coats will be used for warm winter clothing. Kazakh tradition ensures that the eagle eats the foxes lungs."

Fox Hunting with a Golden Eagle - Human Planet: Mountains, preview - BBC One - YouTube

LiveLeak.com - Eagle Catches Fox and Wolf

14th Dec 2013, 14:21
El G. I think you are correct! Viewing the 72dpi file in Photoshop (a half decent photo-edit programme by all accounts;)), there is a discernible difference in the edge pixels between the Bird and 'that other creature'. Have you been able to view the image at a higher resolution?

14th Dec 2013, 14:34
The only bit of the image that seems "off" is the pixels at the rear of the legs.

However, the feathers here on a Wedge Tail eagle are not nice and smooth,
being all shapes and sizes plus they go in all directions so it wouldn't be easy
for a digital camera to capture them.

Apart from that, I can't see what the problem is.

The Eagle's left foot is clear as day on the animal, although I would have
expected it to be more crimped into the skin but that is a guess.

14th Dec 2013, 14:39
onetrack, without "the human-intervention", that fox might have got the better of the eagle, or at least survived...?! :rolleyes:

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 14:41
I just banged it up to 500% on Photoshop CS5 and spotted the clear defining line of artefacts between the subject and the background.

It is a pretty good attempt but not the best.

Beyond my skill level I hasten to add :ok:

El G.

14th Dec 2013, 14:55
The image is genuine

not many pictures of foxes around with their legs and mouth in that position. birds of prey don't stangle, they just stick their claws in you and depend on your wiggling to end it. I sit at my computer and watch out the window the hawks taking out squirrles that way. They always wait a minute on the ground for the wiggling to stop before taking off with a lifeless victim. Plenty of time to get with a camera.

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 15:04
Be interested to know which programme you have used to analyze the image lomapaseo. Photoshop CS5 is pretty much the best in the industry.

If you have found a better one, I would interested to hear.

El G.

14th Dec 2013, 15:06
"not many pictures of foxes around with their legs and mouth in that position."

+ 1

I agree, I had thought about that and where would you get a pic of one that fitted just right.

14th Dec 2013, 15:27
Ok, The OP asked if the image is genuine or manipulated NOT whether an Eagle could do this.

In this enlargement, the edge sharpening is clearly visible between the bird and the background. There is none between the 'other creature' and background.


I say a construction. Now, where were Slashers boobies.

Copyright respected.

http://www.pprune.org/<a href=http://s1100.photobucket.com/user/RobJHP/media/Eagle%20v%20Foxcub/EaglevOtheranimal_zps65b3aac9.jpg.html target=_blank>[IMG]http://i1100.photobucket.com/albums/g412/RobJHP/Eagle%20v%20Foxcub/EaglevOtheranimal_zps65b3aac9.jpg

14th Dec 2013, 15:30

"the edge sharpening is clearly visible between the bird and the background."

Are you talking behind the birds legs ?

Where those blotches are ?

El Grifo
14th Dec 2013, 16:00
Don´t let lomapaseo hear you saying that Peli :}

El G.

14th Dec 2013, 16:11
500N, not so sure. The edge contrast is a giveaway to me. Look at the contrast between the claw and the animal, and the hind leg and the background. These areas don't have the sharpening mark that other areas of similar contrast exhibit.

I'm going for false!


As El G. posted in post2. Spot on. Ok, next Loch Ness Monster.

14th Dec 2013, 19:52

My understanding of sharpening is that you will see it effect far more around the sharp edges of an item and not within an item and also where an item is in front of the background.

Also, the lack of detail at the hind leg, rear leg due to shadow means
IMHO not much to sharpen.

Hence why it doesn't show up where you say. The leg, claw and the fox are on the same plane.

I used to sell high end digital camera when they first came out and
the MD of the company I worked for was a photographer who was
awesome at digital manipulation.

I have sat through many sessions where he manipulated data and
I still call it a true photo.

14th Dec 2013, 20:12
I'm on Grif's side on this. There is something just not right about the fox's mouth. Everything about the eagle is pretty clear and sharp, but a lot of fuzzyness in regard to the fox.

But, I do believe that a large eagle can pick up that sized of animal. In Alaska I've seen eagles snatch really big salmon out of rivers, dang near bigger than the eagle that is holding it.

14th Dec 2013, 20:19
The fox is screaming, hence it's mouth open.

"a lot of fuzzyness in regard to the fox."

Foxes at that age have very fussy hair, not course hairs like an adult.

14th Dec 2013, 21:06
I have been taking raptor photographs for about 10 years.

Birds are not the easiest of subjects to photograph, for obvious reasons, including the large birds of prey. Their movements, occasional unpredictable behaviour etc can mean many many shots deleted before getting 'that perfect shot'.

The most important aspect of bird photography is knowing the behaviour of your subject. This is half the battle won.

To take such a clear, relatively sharp well structured shot 'on the spur of the moment' is indeed incredibly rare, and I would very much like to be as lucky as the person who took this. Anyone know what equipment he/she used?

I cannot comment on whether this bird is capable of the behaviour exhibiting in the photo, as I am not familiar with it, however this is one of the first points one should consider when deciding if a pic is fake.

I can assure you, there are many many 'fake' wildlife photos out there. By fake, I mean things not being quite as they seem. The camera can indeed lie.

Many wildlife photos are set up to look as though they have 'just been taken', without the viewer knowing that setting up the shot was akin to setting up a film scene. Believe me, it happens all the time!

14th Dec 2013, 21:27
You guys need to understand the Aussie birds of prey.

They can sit around quite close to you, in trees, on telegraph poles,
on fence posts and allow you to drive up quite close. As said before,
if a feed is involved, they let caution go to the wind.

When cutting up an animal, we can have whole trees full of
hawks and the odd eagle and the hawks will swoop down within
a few feet of you to grab a scrap if you throw it 6 feet away.
I have thrown meat into the air and had hawks grab it
3 feet above my head.

I could take heaps of close up shots of raptors grabbing food.
A mate routinely gets really close photos of an Eagle.

Last year when fishing for Barramundi in a billabong, I saw
a Juvenile White Tailed eagle swoop down from a tree and glide
towards me near the far bank. 15 - 20 Seconds later he
grabbed a fish directly in front of me 30 feet away.
30 minutes later, the adult Sea Eagle did exactly the same.
So both could have been photographed if I had been interested.

So, birds of prey are not very scared of humans, especially
those in machinery.

I have friends who take Raptor photos and print books, mostly owls.
He sits for hours to get that right photo.

14th Dec 2013, 22:04
500N - My point is this is a 'very good' photo taken without, if I understand correctly, any apparant prior preparation/notice. I could, of course, be talking bollocks; it's not unknown.

I know that raptors are not 'scared' of humans, per se. They 'know' when humans are behaving naturally, with no direct threat to themselves. The behaviour you describe is not unique to Australasian birds, it occurs elsewhere (paleartic etc).

Of course they will come down close to a human if an opportunity arises and a food source is available. I've had sparrowhawks whizzing past my ears to catch a passerine many times, and as you no doubt know black kites are known to take food from humans in urban areas.

Getting back to the photo. Very interested to find out what equipment was used. :)

Pappa Smurf
14th Dec 2013, 22:57
The eagles hang around for an easy feed,
They know a tractor out cutting hay is going to get mice on the move.
But bigger things may be in the long wheat.Maybe the guy saw the fox and knowing Mr Eagle was around,got ready with the camera.
Oops,didnt read the article from the ABC before.

14th Dec 2013, 23:33
No farmer is going to waste time during harvest Photoshopping a hoax. He might well have the camera with him to get a few shots of the harvest action, but would never dare to expect a shot like this.

Raptors and foxes frequent newly harvested areas looking for easy prey in disturbed and newly uncovered habitat. There is adequate evidence of this - I used to see it all the time in an earlier lifetime. And, as already mentioned earlier, I've seen both large and small raptors use a rare opportunity to grab easy prey.

It can be acknowledged that the chances of this photo ever being taken are extremely remote. However such moments do occur, and this of one of them.

I must also mention that one of the rare privileges of my particular discipline in aviation is that of occasionally sharing a thermal with a soaring bird. And if it is by chance a wedge tailed eagle, then one experiences poetry, awe and inspiration unable to be put into mere words. You would have see it for yourself.

A A Gruntpuddock
14th Dec 2013, 23:35
Tried it on this program, but have no idea what it proves.

Free Online Image Error Level Analysis using HTML5 - 29a.ch (http://29a.ch/sandbox/2012/imageerrorlevelanalysis/)

If anything, it seems to show that the fox is real but the eagle is fake!

Just, looking at the shot, would one not expect to see a shadow?

14th Dec 2013, 23:39
You guys in Aus need to understand the sheer amount of nice
juicy food available to an eagle.

Mice, Rats, Quolls, Snakes, Foxes, Rabbits, haresm Pigs and piglets in the hundreds,
deer and fawns, kangaroos and wallaby's and the baby joeys,
emus and ostriches and of course the chicks, bustards and other birds
plus other things I can't think of at the moment.

All the above come running out of fields like this.

Burn a field / paddock and you can get hundreds of kites and eagles
coming to it from miles around and will come very close to you to
grab prey. It is quite a sight.

A A Gruntpuddock
15th Dec 2013, 00:08
This site seems to use the same software but gives a bit more detail about the analysis.

FotoForensics - Analysis (http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=e0f60d86aa7c97f77e182b0e5a46b851ab37c2b0.156 014)

Still doesn't mean a lot to me!

15th Dec 2013, 02:39
Just, looking at the shot, would one not expect to see a shadow?Looking at the sky in the background, shadows may well be unlikely. I would probably assess the lighting as being "cloudy bright", say 1/125 at f/8 for good old Kodachrome 25 (perhaps f/5.6 but the stubble provides more reflective illumination which aids detail capture in areas which might normally be expected to be in shade).

I can only add weight to the observations of 500N. That's how it is; those of us who have lived in these circumstances know it to be so. I've always been amazed at how falcons and kestrels start to appear from nowhere when one is reaping the final strip in a grain paddock - even more so when one is slashing stubbles.

15th Dec 2013, 02:47
When I get home I am going to try to find the photos taken
by my hunting mate who is a copper and has a "pet" Eagle
that follows him or comes down when he goes rabbiting
in a particular area. He has some good close up photos,
I just hope he has one of it on the rabbit he leaves.

15th Dec 2013, 02:52
Some of you guy must be ex RAF and have frequented the Wash.

If you stand on the sea wall on the wash, you often saw hawks and harriers
around, swooping on chicks, birds (often waders) and other things on the
fields etc.

I used to spend weekends and weeks catching waders on the wash
and hundreds of days doing the same here in Aus plus time out bush
hunting so have spent more than my fair share of time watching birds
of prey snatch birds / animals on the ground and from the air.

15th Dec 2013, 03:00

Welcome back.

When were you un banned ?

15th Dec 2013, 03:09

FYI, no one I spoke to could understand why ?

Apart from a few too many Videos being posted, which didn't affect or insult anyone, we were perplexed.

PM sent

15th Dec 2013, 04:37
Harvest is just winding up here and my face book has been alive for the past 6 weeks with constant action shots from the header, chaser bin or roadtrain...mostly of stuff ups as they happen...
You won't find a header round here without a camera, be it video or still, or atleast a smart phone with a camera... Lotsa wildlife shots in there too of critters spooked by machinery(or getting eaten by it)
Don't use the "why would a farmer have a camera?" line as any sort of evidence....we ALL do... Even the oldies get their harvest weather updates via smartphone on the move!

15th Dec 2013, 04:46

Interesting that you confirm that.

The other thing people seem to forget is driving a combine nowadays
can be boring as anything with GPS, auto turns etc etc.

I am not a farmer but have been in old and new (more modern) and
they are chalk and cheese. hell, I was awful at keeping the header
at the right level. Now, it seems to make it all so easy.

15th Dec 2013, 06:50
Some interesting photos of a UK eagle with Lamb, Grey Lag gosling
and a few other good photos.


Here are a typical set of photos of the Wedge Tail Eagle by the road side.
This is how easy it is to get close to them and if you catch them at the
end of a long feeding session, sometimes they find it damn hard to take
off so waddle away if they feel threatened.

Eagle Stock Photos | Eagle Images Pictures (http://www.oceanwideimages.com/categories.asp?cID=476)

Birds of prey in Australia have learnt that humans and cars = easy food
which is why they fly the highways looking for dead roos and follow
combine harvesters because even if they can't catch something, plenty
of minced stuff comes out the back !!!

Airey Belvoir
15th Dec 2013, 07:17
The wedgies around this neck of the woods are as smart as graduates. There has certainly been an increase these past few weeks as the harvest is being taken in. It's a rare morning when I don't wake up to watch a pair cruising the valley below our house.

In driving to the MILs an hour or so ago I drove past a fairly large bush fire putting some houses under threat but was under control when I went past. The helitacs were parked up on the cricket pitch and I noticed four wedgies just cruising the fire area looking for the odd roasted lamb or whatever. They weren't there an hour or so before when the water bombers and helitacs were operating!

My call is that the photo is genuine.

15th Dec 2013, 07:57
Since the advent of auto steer and gps, most headers and seeding tractors also carry a portable DVD player it's that boring...

15th Dec 2013, 08:05
Good idea, although now probably surpassed by MP3 players.
Next they will have TV's :O

Re carrying of cameras, I know a fair few who carry guns in the cabins of farm vehicles and take shots at things that run out.

15th Dec 2013, 08:12
Hell, we ALL do that!

15th Dec 2013, 08:38
All you naysayers, I read this a while ago and just found it again.

A Golden Eagle taking down a SIKA Deer, captured in 3 photos
from a game camera in a forest.

Golden Eagle Versus Deer: Eagle Wins | The Thoughtful Animal, Scientific American Blog Network (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/2013/09/25/golden-eagle-versus-deer-eagle-wins-photos/?WT_mc_id=SA_WR_20131002)

15th Dec 2013, 09:49
Thread drift: fake photo or not, these birds are magnificent. There's some kind of large hunting bird I see perched in *his* tree when I drive into the gym each morning along the back road. Yesterday he took wing as I approached and flew alongside the car. Was that a thrill for me ? you bet it was.

15th Dec 2013, 09:55

Where are you located ?

Which country ?

15th Dec 2013, 12:49
I'm with Pelikal on the photo fraud. The more I examine the pic closely, the more I see Photoshop.

The day is bright sunshine, with scattered cloud - the Mallee trees along the fencelines are throwing heavy shadows (it must be around the middle of the day).

However - there's no shadow whatsoever, directly under, or near-directly under, the eagle and fox - where there definitely should be, a clearly-defined shadow (of both).

The eagle and fox are no more than about 2.5M (8') in height off the ground. The ground level is clearly visible in the stubble.
There are some green shoots at ground level that are weeds that have germinated with late rain.

The standing wheat crop is no more than about 90cm (3') high to the top of the ears.

The photographer has been operating a wheeltractor, which is pulling a "chaser bin".
The capacity of the harvester ("header") is limited to a relatively small amount of grain, so the harvester has to unload every couple of hours into the chaser bin, which has substantial capacity.
Once the chaser bin is full, the load of grain is transfered from chaser bin to a much larger field bin.

The bloke with the tractor and chaser bin has a pretty easy job, he's got plenty of time on his hands - and yes, nearly everyone carries a camera in their vehicle, or item of machinery, in this area.

The bloke driving the tractor and chaser bin, also has a lot of time on his hands at night, to play with Photoshop. :E

Another webpage with the photo - http://huntandshoot.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Eagle-fox.jpg

Chaser bin in action - Harvesting with the Trufab Chaser Bin - 2011 - YouTube

El Grifo
15th Dec 2013, 13:58
It somehow looks even more of a fake on that link :ok:

El G.

15th Dec 2013, 14:03
I don't doubt raptors can carry/hunt large prey but I've copied the photo onto Photoshop CS4 and would say it is a fake. In the latest link the contrast/brightness is all wrong .

15th Dec 2013, 14:52
It does look fake on that web site.

I'll ask the guy who owns it (the web site) if he has done anything to the image.

15th Dec 2013, 17:49
Can't say really, it may be fake but...

Why would anyone remove exif data before uploading jpg file?
Strange artefacts around eagle.
I would think that eagle would kill a fox on the ground and then fly away.
Seem like sunny day with sun high but no sign of shadow.

To acquire photo of fox in that specific position may be harder than having luck to witness such an event. Also eagle is in quite exact position...
Why would anybody invest so much energy into creating such a fake photo would be mystery to me.
Mentioned artefacts can be result of raw - jpeg engine in some cameras.

Hopefully it is genuine...

15th Dec 2013, 17:52
" I would think that eagle would kill a fox on the ground and then fly away."

Not always, especially if it is swooping down, it will / can grab
it if small enough and fly off to a tree.

After all, they do it with Fish.

El Grifo
15th Dec 2013, 18:14
That is the first thing I checked Pali.

The metadata is non-existent.

I was hoping to find out what kit was used etc .

El G.

15th Dec 2013, 20:36
Not always, especially if it is swooping down, it will / can grab
it if small enough and fly off to a tree.

After all, they do it with Fish.

That is one of the questions I have with this picture. How heavy is that Fox?
The Bald Eagle is fairly similar to the Wedge Tail in size from what I can find, perhaps a BIT larger.
Again from what I can find, and have been told,( at a wildlife sanctuary that rehabilitates Baldies ) they are essentially capable of lifting about half their weight. For a Bald Eagle that would be about 5 to 6 pounds. There are records and photos of an Eagle carrying a Canada goose which is more than that but the Goose was taken in the air and the Eagle eventually could not maintain flight.

I have a series of photos of two Eagles trying to carry a Cormorant to shore that they killed in the bay in front of where I live. The Cormorant weighs about 4 pounds but waterlogged it would be more. The Eagles took turns trying to carry it but could only move it yards at a time and eventually gave up.

Sorry for being a bit long winded but I think that the lifting capability sounds correct.

So, how much does that Fox weigh and is the Wedge Tail capable of carrying a greater weight than a Baldie in proportion to its size?

PS. As far as extracting the image of the Fox from a background, in Adobe CS 5 and 6 it is quite easy using the quick selection and refine edges tools, even the fur edges can be quite finely extracted.

15th Dec 2013, 20:41
That fox is a skinny little pup.

Do a search on Google for "Fox pups" and some good photos come up
of this sized pup as well as ones that have gone from the tiny pup stage
to the next growth phase where the coat looks more like fur instead of

That pup wouldn't have been out of the den long. The type that has just
ventured out in the past week.

That pup would not weigh much as all. I can't tell you because
I don't touch foxes after killing them due to mange and I have a dog !!!

A wedgy could easily lift a fox that size. It is about the size of a hare
or very small lamb.

That's my HO.

15th Dec 2013, 21:55
I tried all the tricks of photoshop and decided to think outside the box.Maybe the eagle was just flying by looking for a rodent and the fox jumped up and nailed the eagle and is about to bring it down for a meal.

15th Dec 2013, 22:00
Saw a clip once that showed a large eagle dealing with a baby goat. The bird couldn't sustain flight with the goat but it dragged it off a mountainside and dropped it 400 feet or so. End of goat, well fed eagle!

After an excellent landing etc...

15th Dec 2013, 23:34
Innuendo - The fox appears to be a half-grown cub and wouldn't weight any more than a big domestic cat - probably around 4 kg. The female Wedgetail eagle (the female is larger than the male, surprisingly) weighs around 3 to 5.7kgs.

I have no doubt the eagle could quite possibly carry a half-grown fox in that manner, if only for a short distance.
However, eagles generally don't waste energy. They prefer to kill their prey on the spot, and eat it there.

If they're disturbed, they will leave a carcass, rather than try to carry it away, then return when they think there is little chance of being disturbed again.
They're happy to eat fairly fresh carrion, but don't seem to eat old carrion, unlike ravens.

If the female has chicks, she will carry small prey back to the nest. If the prey is heavy, she will tear large chunks off the carcass and fly back to the nest with the chunks.

Wedge-tailed Eagle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge-tailed_Eagle)

The photographers story is quite plausible - I just don't believe his photo is genuine.

16th Dec 2013, 00:24

That video is on youtube, in fact I think a couple of them.

I thought it was very clever of the eagles to do what they did
considering how big the goats were.

16th Dec 2013, 00:43
I reckon its genuine but Photoshop'd for clarity.

16th Dec 2013, 00:52

I tend to agree. Apart from converting it from Raw to RGB to CMYK,
it has probably been sharpened or at the very least, contrast adjusted so
it stand out. I might do a bit of manipulation tonight.

My one concern is the lack of shadow, BUT, shadows with light reflecting
from all the wheat can diminish it. In addition, the shadow MAY have been
but off the bottom of the photo.

16th Dec 2013, 01:01
I might do a bit of manipulation tonight.

Um...yeah me too mate. I'm certainly getting
a bit toey lately with the wife not around! :\

16th Dec 2013, 01:04


16th Dec 2013, 02:14
Hi 500N,
I don't think the question is "what" an Eagle can kill, from Rabbits to Lambs to apparently Deer.
The OP questioned the authenticity of the posted image and the ability of the bird to carry the Fox was raised. If the Fox was a pup up to about 5-6 pounds then that point is no help with the question of fake or not but if the Fox is an adult then I don't think the Eagle could carry it.

When I look at the posted image in CS6 at pixel level it looks peculiar. Some of the pixelation ahead of the leading edge of the left wing tip looks like the pattern that the program uses for transparency. A couple of other artifacts look strange.
In fairness the image is a low res file, no doubt compressed for web purposes but I am not convinced.

16th Dec 2013, 02:18
I think we have determined the fox is a pup. No question about it.
Colour, fur, fussiness, size etc etc.

16th Dec 2013, 03:05
Here's video proof of the fox-carrying ability of a Golden eagle.

Golden eagle video - Aquila chrysaetos - 08b | ARKive (http://www.arkive.org/golden-eagle/aquila-chrysaetos/video-08b.html)

Here's a Spanish eagle taking on a full-grown fox. Adult foxes are pretty savage, and this struggle is pretty even, until the man arrives.

Caza de zorro con Aguila Real (Spain) - YouTube

Great photos of an eagle driving off a fox that tried to steal the eagles food. Notice how the talons are clenched as it tries to grab the fox.

That's my dinner! Moment a hungry fox tries to take on an eagle after trying to steal his lunch | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2243751/Thats-dinner-Moment-hungry-fox-tries-eagle-trying-steal-lunch.html)

16th Dec 2013, 03:13
Two very good examples.

I wonder why the people intervened, was it to save the Eagle or the Fox :O

Interesting how the fox and the eagle fight, the fox never really lunges at the Eagle to get a bite in, more baring it's teeth towards it.

Having been "gripped" by numerous Hawks, Owls and Eagles, I can fully
understand how once they get the claws in they can squeeze the life out of

19th Dec 2013, 10:27
Hi, my name is brad (mates call me Milton).

The person that took this photo is my brother in law, On his mates (Scott ball) camera.
These guys are your average tradies and farmers who barely know how to turn on a computer, let alone photoshop.
Scott put this photo on Facebook and it just escalated from there.

I just googled the photo to see how far it had gone and came across this forum, so I joined to let you all know its 100% genuine.


19th Dec 2013, 13:14
So .. Milton, you just "Googled the photo to see how far it had gone" Was that the original aim? - just to see how far one's "special" photo can go?
Can you clarify why there is no shadow under the fox and eagle?
The photo appears to have been taken when the sun was high - surely one would expect to see a shadow under the fox and the eagle?
Can you also explain the lack of EXIF data for the photo? I know a few cameras don't include EXIF data, but the majority do.
It would be interesting to hear of the make and model of camera used.

El Grifo
19th Dec 2013, 13:27
Also interested !

El G.

19th Dec 2013, 13:58
onetrack et al.,

The other potential bit in support of this whole shopped' debate is that it seems that the image was posted at some point to the photoshopbattles section of reddit (see link below) which as far as I can tell is a bit of a forum made for people to show off their latest photshop skills.

A wedge-tailed eagle taking a fox in Australia : photoshopbattles (http://en.reddit.com/r/photoshopbattles/comments/1s2hpy/a_wedgetailed_eagle_taking_a_fox_in_australia/)

19th Dec 2013, 15:19
to let you all know its 100% genuine.Bollox...:sad:

El Grifo
19th Dec 2013, 15:27
Game, set and match then ??

El G.

19th Dec 2013, 23:06
Pelikal - My thoughts exactly. Why does a "mate" need to show up here to verify it's genuine?
Why doesn't the original photographer show up and verify all the details and offer up explanations?
On another forum, a user said he would contact the photographer via email on his Farcebook page, to get the full rundown. That was a week ago, and the silence is deafening.

I've emailed the ABC journalist who put up the original article and photo, and asked why the ABC didn't verify the photo was genuine, before publishing it.
The silence is deafening from the ABC, too. I'm still awaiting a reply several days later.

19th Dec 2013, 23:46
Since when would a commie bunch of turds like
the ABC ruin a story by verifying the facts first?

19th Dec 2013, 23:58
I must admit i was a bit suss when I went back and read that mate
had posted about it being genuine.

Since when has any media checked the facts to see if it is true or not.

20th Dec 2013, 00:02
onetrack et al., a possibility I did consider was that maybe this photo was a sort of sketch. The farmer may well have seen this occurrence but was unable to take a photo of the whole event. Just maybe this composite/modified image (which in my view it is) is a way of describing what he saw.

Many years ago driving to Dorset in the Winter I glanced at the hilltops and saw a lamb riding on the back of it's Mother. Really extraordinary. How on earth it got there I don't know. I often wonder that if I had taken a photo many would have said I'd cobbled it in PS, which I would be quite capable of.

However, this is genuine!

http://www.pprune.org/<a href=&quot;<a href=http://s1100.photobucket.com/user/RobJHP/media/Swannery/Chickride2crop.jpg.html&quot; target=_blank>http://s1100.photobucket.com/user/RobJHP/media/Swannery/Chickride2crop.jpg.html&quot;</a> target=&quot;_blank&quot;><img src=&quot;<a href=http://i1100.photobucket.com/albums/g412/RobJHP/Swannery/Chickride2crop.jpg&quot; target=_blank>http://i1100.photobucket.com/albums/g412/RobJHP/Swannery/Chickride2crop.jpg&quot;</a> border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot; photo Chickride2crop.jpg&quot;/></a>

20th Dec 2013, 00:13
I only like foxes called Samantha.


20th Dec 2013, 00:13
Yeah it was on abc wa country hour and they had an eagle expert and tech expert check it out. Sorry, I don't know anything about exif data?
I'll see him over the weekend so I'll get some of the other photos and see if I can put some up. Think he took about 10 before he got that one

20th Dec 2013, 00:15
Caco, is that you in the blue jacket?:}

20th Dec 2013, 01:47

Great photo but not that rare.

Happens often and swans being swans it would often
occur where they are close to humans.

20th Dec 2013, 02:00
Yes, but less so than before.
And not because of "photoshopbattles" who just babble on.

I know an Eagle (Wedgie) is perfectly capable of picking up a fox pup
and flying off with it, no question there, the question is if this photo is

I am going to see if I can get a Hawk or an Eagle to pick up a
Small wallaby or maybe dingo (unlikely) but at least a piece
of meat and fly off with it.

I want to post the photo and you can tell me whether it is genuine or fake.
Might take me 4 weeks to get the photos though so hopefully people will
still be interested then !!!

20th Dec 2013, 02:01

Are you still a believer ?

20th Dec 2013, 02:40
Milton - EXIF data is is basic data about the photo that is automatically stored on the photo file when the photo is taken.

"This stored data is called “EXIF Data” and it is comprised of a range of settings such as ISO speed, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, camera model and make, date and time, lens type, focal length and much more."

Read more: What is EXIF Data? (http://photographylife.com/what-is-exif-data#ixzz2nyjC7w5s)

I'm sorry, but I'm not buying the part about blokes who are "just tradies and farmers" not being computer literate.
I know an old truck driver who has never had any formal computer training - but what he can do as regards altering photos, making up moving GIF images, and compromising other peoples photos, to their embarrassment, is nothing short of unbelievable.

Caco - Do you have to insert your favorite, but irrelevant, video clip into every thread?? :rolleyes:

El Grifo
20th Dec 2013, 09:40
Nothing beats a totally crazy thread.

This sure qualifies :ok:

Keep it up team !!

El G.

20th Dec 2013, 12:55
After over 100 posts in here I'm still thinking that the only thing that matters is whether you enjoyed seeing the photo.

El Grifo
20th Dec 2013, 13:03
Eagle vs Fox - Photoshop or genuine?
Here's what appears to be a prize-winning snapshot of an Aussie Wedgetail eagle making off with a live fox.

What do PPRuNers think? Photoshop or genuine??

Then start another thread :ok:

El G.

20th Dec 2013, 13:26
No, no, no .. what we are trying to determine here, is whether a nasty hoax is being perpetrated on 6 billion unsuspecting and trusting people! :suspect:

As someone with a suspicious mind (due to consistently being confronted with fake photos), I must say I'm amazed at the number of people who I've come across in recent days, who have suddenly pulled this photo up, and said to me ...
"Have you seen this eagle and fox photo? What a fantastic shot!" :ooh:

Yet .. all these people are mature, and worldly-wise - but they are happy to take an internet photo at face value, without even questioning its authenticity??
Little wonder then, that internet scammers and rogues constantly have major successes! :suspect:

El Grifo
20th Dec 2013, 13:58
Oddly enough, being a pro snapper for the last 40 years, 8 of which being digital, I just thought of it as a technical question :ok:

Happy Daze

El G.

23rd Dec 2013, 12:13
ok so ive got the other photos that were taken. how do i attach them? i can only seem to add photos from a url?

23rd Dec 2013, 12:47
Milton, you need to upload the photos to a photo-hosting site (Photobucket, Flickr, Imageshack, or any one of a dozen free photo-hosting sites) and then post the link to the image here.
You'll find an "insert image" button on the line of icons above the text box where you can insert the URL (web address) link to make the photo display in your post.
This forum does not have the capacity to store the millions of photos that would uploaded to it, if a photo uploading feature was added.

El Grifo
23rd Dec 2013, 12:51
Could this finally solve the mystery :8

Time may tell !!

El G.

24th Dec 2013, 01:41
ok so here are some of the other shots, and the original. hopefully it clears things up a bit??
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040552_zps9f0a9139.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040552_zps9f0a9139.jpg.html)
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040553_zps68b7d10f.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040553_zps68b7d10f.jpg.html)
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040555_zpsa34c77af.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040555_zpsa34c77af.jpg.html)
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040556_zps82588434.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040556_zps82588434.jpg.html)
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040557_zps2ee96627.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040557_zps2ee96627.jpg.html)
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040558_zps5317314f.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040558_zps5317314f.jpg.html)
http://www.pprune.org/http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab349/milton1255/P1040559_zpsdfe09815.jpg (http://s878.photobucket.com/user/milton1255/media/P1040559_zpsdfe09815.jpg.html)

24th Dec 2013, 13:58
:ugh: try that again;

El Grifo
24th Dec 2013, 14:16
No Joy amigo :(

El G.

24th Dec 2013, 14:28
Milton, it looks like you scrambled the image-linking code - but we can decipher that, anyway.

I must admit, you have provided a great deal of proof that appears to reinforce your claim that the original photo is genuine.

These photos are magnificent, and truly show the wedgetail at his best.

Well done, and thank you.

(P.S. - I didn't add the last photo, as it's the same photo as the one I started this thread with.)


24th Dec 2013, 14:29

24th Dec 2013, 14:31

24th Dec 2013, 14:33

24th Dec 2013, 14:34

24th Dec 2013, 14:36

El Grifo
24th Dec 2013, 14:54
To quote my wife " you are not often wrong Grifo, but you are wrong again"

El G.

24th Dec 2013, 22:42
Hmmm. One wonders whether there are any photos of this eagle actually consuming the young fox? I mean, who actually eats fox anymore, if they ever did? Oscar Wilde, in his 1893 play "A Woman of No Importance", once famously referred to "the English country gentleman galloping after a fox" as "the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

Or do we merely discuss another "sport of Kings and/or company"...?! Of course the eagle prefers the defrosted chicken breast pieces which are his regular meals, but we have to keep him/her fit etc. :ok:

I'd have thought though, that in the midst of all those (wheat? - pardon my ignorance) fields, a few more foxes would have been much more efficient at keeping the mouse / mole / rodent population down...?! :}

24th Dec 2013, 23:10
I'd have thought though, that in the midst of all those (wheat? - pardon my ignorance) fields, a few more foxes would have been much more efficient at keeping the mouse / mole / rodent population down...?!

As well as all the native species which have become endangered since the Acclimatisation Society thought it was a good idea to introduce foxes to make Australia more like England.

P.s. We don't have moles.

24th Dec 2013, 23:26
I'd like to prolong this discussion over what you call "native species" and "the lack of moles" in OZ, but Rudolph and the other reindeer (you don't have any of these there either do you - oh, your poor children...?!) are getting impatient and want to get the night over with...

HO HO HO?! :ok: :zzz:

24th Dec 2013, 23:37
onetrack, you proved that your screen name is fitting.

24th Dec 2013, 23:52
Thanks Milton125 :ok:

Great pictures - all of them. Those of us who have sat on a header a few times were never in doubt. :D

Happy Christmas to all on JB and may health, happiness and such prosperity as you can safely manage be yours for 2014.


25th Dec 2013, 03:41
Hurrah Milton,

Thank you for posting those brilliant pics to back up the original. So much for the vagaries of pixellation and the doubting thereof.

May I, somewhat tongue in cheek, submit a comment on "Fake" and "Authentic"? It has more to do with raptors' territoriality than with their lifting capacity. Here goes.

I live in a forested - and so far environmentally protected - area 30km SW of Sao Paulo. As rich as one can get in terms of wildlife within that distance of a large Brazilian city. The property has several buildings on it, all with windows, and when we moved here in 2009 the mortality rate of birds hitting them was high. The dogs, always alert to a THUMP on a window, were only too quick and would too often be seen grinning anc crunching contendedly with blue, black or yellow feathers sticking out of their mouths. So we hung streamers, pasted fake hawk silhouettes or old CDs on the windows to warn small birds off. Ms b got some fake hawk carvings to hang in the windows. Like this one.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a237/broadreach/image-75.jpg (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/broadreach/media/image-75.jpg.html)

All these measures cut avian casualties down considerably - I'd guess around 80%. Perhaps because we also have bird feeders around the property, colonies have developed and only the younger birds are stupid enough to crash into the windows.

And then unintended consequences stepped in.

A few months ago I was sitting at the kitchen table writing, as I usually do, around 0900 after breakfast. The 1m x 0.50m pane of a large window 20" to my left. A huge bang and the pane exploded, most of it out into the garden and none of the shards hitting me. Rather as if the faux hawk had been made of dynamite.

The faux was no longer there but lying in the grass below the kitchen window along with the sparrow hawk whose territory it was presumably trespassing. Here are the two prior to disposal:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a237/broadreach/image-72.jpg (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/broadreach/media/image-72.jpg.html)

And here's the window prior prior to replacing the glass.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a237/broadreach/image-74.jpg (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/broadreach/media/image-74.jpg.html)

All sadly ironic; I'd have loved to see the little sparrowhawk's attack succeed and to have watched him haul the wooden effigy away. Even at 0900 it'd have been worth leaning out of the window, picking a lemon and preparing a caipirinha.

But that was not to be. And today, we have a faux Christmas tree in the vicinity of that same window.

Happy Christmas to all you fellow Ppruners.


25th Dec 2013, 05:05
Owl attack/landing:


25th Dec 2013, 08:07
I'd have thought though, that in the midst of all those (wheat? - pardon my ignorance) fields, a few more foxes would have been much more efficient at keeping the mouse / mole / rodent population down...?!

Airship - Yes, it is a wheat crop - and foxes are as big a curse, as rabbits in Australia. The first was introduced to try and control the second.

It didn't work, both fox and rabbit numbers spiralled out of control, and they are still pests in sizeable numbers, although not as bad as 40 or 50 yrs ago.

Foxes don't eat a lot of rodents, the hawks probably eat more. Foxes prefer chickens, small birds, small native marsupial animals, rabbits - and lambs.
A hungry fox will eat rodents and even insects (my father told of cutting open a fox and finding its stomach full of scorpions and centipedes), but they will go far for domestic chickens, small ground birds, rabbits, and lambs.

Foxes are amongst the cruellest of killers, they will pull down a wobbly lamb and eat only the arse out of it. Crows are just as cruel, they go for the lambs eyes first.
Foxes will kill for fun, if they get into a paddock of lambs, or a chicken run, they will kill 5 times more than they can eat.

A eagle will eat any part of any animal it selects as prey, but they seem to have a preference for lungs and offal.
They have massive tearing power with their beak and they will shred the toughest carcass in a short space of time.

28th Dec 2013, 21:32
Grifo, never mind.

To quote my wife " you are not often wrong Grifo, but you are wrong again"

El G.

Don't despair, we did base our opinions on a single image with no back-up for authenticity.

El Grifo
28th Dec 2013, 23:58
Drink to that Pelikal :ok:

Happy New Year.

El G.