Kidnapping Bird of Prey

A very old, but still popular animal stereotype: a Noble Bird Of Prey (usually an eagle, condor or a vulture) picks up a child or a small animal from the ground and carries it off to its nest to be eaten.

Mostly an Urban Legend, since everything weighing more than 4 pounds is far too heavy to be carried off by these birds, making this a case of Somewhere, an Ornithologist Is Crying. They will prefer Vertical Kidnapping smaller animals. Yet, there have been many cases throughout history where babies or little children were merely attacked by large birds, and some eagles are perfectly capable of killing prey too large to actually carry off.

Pterosaurs often take on this role in prehistoric settings, in spite of the fact that not only were most of them also too light to carry off even a child, they didn't even have grasping feet!

Subtrope of Feathered Fiend.


Anime and Manga
  • Wild Skarmory do this every now and then in the Pokémon anime. On one occasion, one of them kidnapped May and dropped her in a place that was forbidden to humans. The real threat wasn't the Skarmory, but rather the other hostile Pokémon in the area.

Comic Books
  • Popeye: The Witch has a giant vulture who picks up people and flies them to her.
  • In Tintin, in the album Tintin and the Prisoners of the Sun, a large condor catches Tintin's dog, Snowy. Tintin actually climbs to the bird's nest in the mountains to rescue his dog.
  • In the Nero album "De Bende van de Zwarte Kous", a vulture picks up the child Petoetje and carries him off.
    • The same happens to Nero's son, Adhemar, in the album "De Lolifanten".
    • In the album "De Vliegende Handschoen", various friends of Nero, including adults (!) are kidnapped by his pet eagle.
    • In the album "De Ring van Balderic" a statue of an eagle comes to life and carries off the little boy Clo-Clo.

  • It happened on film as early as 1907 in Edwin S. Porter's "Rescued from an Eagle Nest". (See image above.)
  • In Popeye Meets Sindbad The Sailor, a roc carries Olive Oyl away. It later takes Popeye to a volcano to kill him, but Popeye wins out and roasts the bird.
  • In Jurassic Park III, a Pteranodon carries off a human boy.
  • In An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, there is a slightly altered version as Fievel is chased by a hawk whose first attempt to grab him fails and Fievel escapes into a burrow. Unfortunately, while backing away to the entrance from the scorpion within the burrow, the hawk this time catches Fievel and carries him off.
  • Happens briefly in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers movie. A Tengu Warrior picks up Kimberly with its feet and carries her across the battlefield, but drops her soon afterward.

  • In Dream Park, guide Kasan Maibang is nearly carried off by a giant hornbill early in the South Seas Treasure Game.
  • Snowkit gets kit-napped by a hawk despite his mom Speckletail trying to get him back. Not being able to hear anything was also not a good sign.
    • Even happens to an adult cat, Bright Stream, while travelling through the mountains. It didn't help that she was pregnant.

Video Games

Western Animation

Web Original

Real Life
  • The Taung Child, the fossilized skull of an early hominid, was discovered to have been killed by an eagle.
  • The Lawndale Incident. On July 25 1977, a ten year old boy named Marlon Lowe was playing outside his home when an pair of gigantic birds flew overhead. One of them swooped down and snatched Marlon up, carried him a few feet, and then dropped him unharmed onto the ground after his mother chased after it shouting. This story would probably be less believable if there weren't at least seven witnesses present...
  • It's more common for this to happen to dogs than to children; it's advised not to let a small dog out unattended where there are hawks or eagles, since a fenced-in yard, as good as it is for preventing some forms of harm to your dog, won't actually stop a bird.