14 Comments


  1. Wow, what an amazing experience! Fantastic photos, Dave! I get a real sense of the size and ferocity of the eagle as it’s held against a human body, to see that proud head and beak, the eyes, the talons. I felt sorry for it, in captivity and being poked and prodded. How very exciting to see it soar away, in freedom again.


  2. WOWSERS, Dave!!!!

    and here I thought Hap’s claws
    were fearsome!

  3. David Harmon

    Suzanne: I was just thinking the same w.r.t. my own cat — just a domestic longhair, but big, with long claws…. for a cat, anyway. (I’m pretty sure that eagle would just eat her.) I also commented similarly to MJ on the other (linked) blog.


  4. Holy cow! What a beautiful creature, and such photos, too. Amazing.


  5. I flit from her eyes, to her claws, to those beautiful feathers. (And wonder what it would have felt like to hold her, to smell her.) Just to see these freaking-wonderful-pictures makes my head expode.

    Her size is amazing. The scale of the human hand is fabulous.

    Holy-shi*. (I read often, but don’t always comment. But this? I’m beyond speechless…I have been enjoying the haiku responses–as long as I have broken my silence.)


  6. Thanks for commenting, y’all.

    Marja-Leena – Yes, it is always sad the way wild creatures are made a bit less wild when trapped, darted, banded or otherwise manhandled in the name of science. But this isn’t just for science, it’s for conservation — trying to keep wind turbines and other harmful things the hell out of their way — so we stand to gain in wildness in the long term.

    suzanne, David, Zhoen – Yes, and they’re not just rapier-sharp, they’re also tremendously powerful. Todd has handled dozens, perhaps hundreds of eagles, but he still had a struggle when he went to grab her and pull her out of the carrying pen on Sunday morning.

    Theriomorph, …deb – Glad you liked. I wish I could’ve been more eloquent about the whole experience – and maybe with time I will be – but I always find it tough to switch back and forth between dry description mode and lyrical mode.


  7. I love that photo – the golden feathers on the head and the curve of those talons – fantastic!

    Your haiku is pretty wonderful, too.

    ;-)

  8. quiet regular

    wow! …didn’t believe my eyes at first. thought it was a fake


  9. That is astonishing, so heraldic.
    Once as a kid we were driving along a typically wet grey
    seafront in west Wales and I saw an eagle perched up on a gatepost, looking like a stone one. I screamed and we stopped. It belonged to a man who live d there. He let my sister hold her, I think I was too small. I’ve long wanted to handle birds of prey, read up on falconry as a youngster; apparently the old Boke of St Albans rule about ‘an eagle for an emperor’ was for appearances only, they aren’t great birds for falconers, being quite slow and lazy and not so bright. The finest are peregrines and gyr falcons.


  10. Did you add that haiku later? I don’t remember seeing it first time round. But that doesn’t mean anything – I missed the killer insect-leaf shot first time round too. Anyway. It’s still OMG. In fact OMFG.


  11. Yes, that was a later addition. I’m glad you liked the post.


  12. Wow, that is just incredible. Thanks for that. I love your ‘ku.

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