Eagles swooping from the sky to snatch babies is the stuff of legend.

A homemade video appears to capture the moment a golden eagle makes a U-turn after spotting a baby crawling on the grass below in a Montreal park.

As the baby's oblivious mum unpacks a picnic, the eagle swoops down and grasps the child by the coat with its massive talons.

Then with a great flap of its enormous wings, it carries the baby several feet off the ground for several yards, before losing its grip and dropping the bewildered child.

The incredible moment was caught on camera by someone who clearly didn't believe what was happening until the eagle had landed its prey.

The video of the remarkable moment has now been posted on YouTube under the title, 'Golden Eagle Snatches Kid'.

For some viewers, the incident was too surreal to be real - and they were right. For a few hours after the film was viewed by hundreds of thousands on the video-sharing site, it was revealed that it was a HOAX.

The viral video is the work of some creative students at the Montreal-based Centre NAD.

A blog post owned up to the fact that the video was the work of pupils studying the school's 3D Animation and Digital Design programme.