Holy Cow

7 Apr

Captive Golden Eagle at the Alaska Raptor Center

When Hubby and I visited Alaska a couple of years ago, the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka was one of our stops. Actually, it’s one of the reasons Sitka was added to our itinerary. I’d read about their Bald Eagle rehab program and thought it would be a cool place to visit. It was. Very cool actually.

It’s really interesting to see these magnificent birds up close. The one pictured on the right is a Golden Eagle. As explained on this Web page done by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Golden Eagles are common in western North America, but rare in the East.

You’re most likely to make a rare sighting during the winter in the Mid-Atlantic region, which is where some Golden Eagles and many other raptors go to escape the harsher weather of their summer breeding and year-round ranges.

Hubby and I did see at least one Golden Eagle in the wild when we were at Denali National Park. But I haven’t seen one here.

Why then am I telling you about Golden Eagles? Because one of the people in my computer recently did a blog post about them. Before I tell you more, here’s a little info you should read about the differences between Bald and Golden Eagles.

American Bald Eagle description (from the American Bald Eagle Information Web site): A female bald eagle’s body length varies from 35 to 37 inches; with a wingspan of 79 to 90 inches. The smaller male bald eagle has a body length of 30 to 34 inches; with a wingspan ranging from 72 to 85 inches. Their average weight is ten to fourteen pounds. Northern birds are significantly larger than their southern relatives.

Here’s what that same Web site had to say about Golden Eagles: Length of about 3 feet (.92m). Weighing up to 15 pounds (7kg), with a wing span of up to 7 feet (2m). Golden eagles are larger than bald eagles in average height and wingspan, but there isn’t much difference in average weight.

After watching the video I’ll tell you about shortly, I thought Golden Eagles have to be way bigger than Bald Eagles. But they’re not.

You’ve just got to check out the very short video on my Flickr friend’s blog that shows a Golden Eagle hunting a deer. Yes, a DEER.

When I saw it, I exclaimed, “Holy cow!”

Usually, if Hubby overhears me commenting out loud about something I’ve just seen on the Web, he’ll say, “What?”

This time, he immediately grabbed his glasses and headed toward me saying, “Anything that warrants a ‘holy cow’ must be good.”

I hope you are similarly astonished.

While looking for that Golden Eagle picture, I saw this shot of me Hubby took in Alaska that I thought was cool…

ToadMama Looking for the Perfect Photo Opportunity

You can see Sitka in the background. It’s a town on one of the islands in Alaska’s famous Inside Passage.

2 Replies to “Holy Cow

  1. Yeah, Golden Eagle’s rock.

    They are also used as captive/falconry hunters. I recall an National Geographic article about someone in one of the *stan’s – http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Kazakh-Hunter-Strains-to-Support-a-Golden-Eagle-Posters_i4204032_.htm

    http://www.ngsprints.co.uk/Asia-Prints-Wildlife-Prints-Birds-Eagles/c28_29_329_842/p119811/A-Kazakh-Falconer-Hunts-with-His-Golden-Eagle./product_info.html

    I couldn’t find the article, but there’s a couple photos/prints…

  2. Falconry is one of those things that has interested me since I read “My Side of the Mountain” as a kid. It’s about a kid that leaves the city and goes to live on his grandfather’s property in the Adirondack Mountains. He takes a baby goshawk from its nest, names it Frightful, and trains it to hunt. She helps him survive. I can’t imagine working with a 15-pound bird!

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