Monday, May 18, 2009


Elaine is molting well this season. Her cere is yellowing up and those steely flecks of blue are finally beginning to overtake the immature body feathers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lazing on a Summer Afternoon

Watching eagles find their wings is a wonderful way to spend your time during the summer. Eagles are notoriously ungainly and clumsy after they first fledge. A friend once compared casting off a young, unfit eagle to "lobbing a pillow" at quarry. Tame hacking is a falconry technique where just-fledged falcons, typically imprints, are given free-reign of the sky to learn to, as Tennyson puts it in his poem Rosalind, "Keep the upper skies" and "roam and wheel at will". At least, that is what they are supposed to do. The eagle in the video above preferred a kip.

Here a golden eagle at hack peers at thistles on the hillside
He leaps into flight, tail flaring wildly and wings overcompensating for the gusty winds.
The eagle begins to circle, gaining a little lift from the wind pushing against the hillside.

Already unsure, he scans the ground for a suitable spot to land.

Gray clouds encroach as he surveys the landscape.