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Bald Eagle fans, or any raptors, really


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#1    aquatus1

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 06:12 AM

I'm trying to gather together a bit of information for a story I'm writing, and I am having a hard time finding specific information on Bald Eagles.  If you have info, or know where I can get it, I would greatly appreciate it.

On the physical side, I want to learn a bit more about their anatomy, particularly their talons.  I've hear they have a back spur similar to that of game cocks.  I've also heard that they can only unclench their talons when their legs are bent, not straight, but I don't know how true that is.

I also need to know a bit about the attitudes or personalities of eagles, so if anyone knows an eagle on a personal basis, some input there would also be welcome.  Thanks in advance if anyone can help.

Edited by aquatus1, 08 February 2014 - 06:12 AM.


#2    Mythical Legend

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 07:28 AM

Subscribed due to my profound interest and fascination of our winged friends.

This time of year it would seem they are pretty active in the Oregon/Washington area. A guy i know is still getting awesome shots of them in the Seattle area.  His photos can be seen on Flickr under the name Peter Bangayan.  I can dig up a few other names if interested.

Happy hunting :tsu:


#3    aquatus1

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 07:44 AM

Very much so, but it is a bit frustrating because all the forums I found are about eagle cams and photography, where I need people with hands-on (so to speak) interaction with eagles.


#4    Mythical Legend

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 07:50 AM

I would typically never talk about another forum withing a forum but i feel this to be an exception. Have you tried Birdforum.net? i frequent there from time to time and the folks on there are typically very helpful in instances such as these. The site seems a bit more geared towards observation rather than photography and has been extremely helpful for me in the past.


#5    Hankenhunter

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 08:09 AM

Never seen any spur on a bald eagle. Tha back talon is so hooked inward that they do get hooked up time to time. I've seen them do face plants into the ocean after trying to scoop on the fly a fish to big for it. Then the hilarious sight of it doing the breast stroke back to shore. Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of B.C is chock full of bald eagles. I've seen so many at one time along the Frazer river that the huge trees that line the river look like some kind of gigantic mutant fruit trees from so many eagles perched in the branch's.
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Edited by Hankenhunter, 08 February 2014 - 08:10 AM.


#6    aquatus1

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 08:13 AM

Thanks Mythical, I'll check them out.

Hanken, I read something about them being decent swimmers and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the heck they would do something like that.


#7    lightly

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:39 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 08 February 2014 - 08:13 AM, said:

Thanks Mythical, I'll check them out.

Hanken, I read something about them being decent swimmers and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the heck they would do something like that.

I don't know if they do laps... but sometimes they end up IN the water when they are fishing  .. so  knowing how to swim to shore, by flapping their wings, might save their lives because they can't take off  from  the water  once  IN  and completely wet.

* I grew up on a lake, with an island, with  HUGE white pines, with eagle's nests  every year..  except for an eagleless spell during the DDT era....  Now they are  back ! I used to love to watch them fish.

Edited by lightly, 08 February 2014 - 11:43 AM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#8    scorpiosonic

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:55 PM

Have U tried Wiki? Maybe search Youtube, and Nature Documentaries for more info. Try the book, "Birds Of Prey"....an exc book, very informative, covering most if not all, don't remember author, etc...try Amazon.

I think this is it, by Ian Newton
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Weldon Owen Inc. (August 1, 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 187513798X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1875137985

Bald Eagles are basically fish eagles. Even though they are the US National Bird etc, there was a bounty on them, ($1.00 US) in Alaska until 1962, mostly because they would try to eat the salmon caught in traps, ruining the catch...from the fisherman's perspective anyway.

No spur, but they do have sm spines and rough scales on bottoms of their feet. They don't have to bend their legs to grip, or release. Their grip is very strong, and exc. eyesight, like all raptors. (70% of their brain capacity is devoted to visual processing.)

Edited by scorpiosonic, 10 February 2014 - 04:20 PM.


#9    aquatus1

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:52 PM

Thanks.


So, there's no one here who has worked with raptors before?  I've spoken to some falconers, but it's not exactly the same.


#10    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:44 AM

Off topic I know, but this thread has brought back a great memory. In 1986 my family spent 6 weeks visiting my dad's brother in Chilliwack (near Vancouver). One evening I went on a fishing trip with my dad and uncle to the Vedder Canal. I had no interest in drowning worms but I was quite happy to sit in a boat and watch the wildlife (it's mostly a whole lot different to South East England).

After a few hours my neither my dad nor uncle had got even a single bite. My uncle had just uttered the immortal line, "it doesn't look like there's anything in here" when a Bald Eagle swooped low over the boat and plucked a large trout from the water no more than 20 feet from where we were sitting. The look on the faces of my dad and uncle had me laughing for ages.

My dad and uncle are both gone now, but it was good to remember that incident again.

Back on topic:
Have you tried these people aquatus: American Bald Eagle Foundation? It looks like they have a fair collection of raptors including Bald Eagles. They have an email link on their front page.

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#11    aquatus1

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:59 AM

Mother Nature; the original troll.  :lol:


#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:18 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 11 February 2014 - 01:59 AM, said:

Mother Nature; the original troll.  :lol:

If the Bald Eagle is a troll then it is a magnificent, beautiful troll.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#13    aquatus1

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:41 AM

A magnificent, beautiful, terrible, troll.  Last time I was face to face with one, it was giving me this startled look of annoyance, as if it had been unexpectedly requested to calculate how many pieces it would have to tear me into prior to consumption.


#14    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:52 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 11 February 2014 - 02:41 AM, said:

A magnificent, beautiful, terrible, troll.
Imagine if it had been a Haast's Eagle. Now there is a bird I would love to have seen... from a distance.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#15    aquatus1

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:59 AM

I was reading about the Bald Eagle and found that it held the world record for heavy lift by a raptor.  A Bald Eagle was documented carrying away a recently weighed baby mule deer.  15+ pounds!

Man, you can just see him strutting around the other eagles.





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