Copyright Barbara Samuelson 1997
Eagle soaring above the mountains over the Chilkat River outside
of Haines, Alaska.
ea·gle (ź¹gel) noun - Any of various large diurnal
birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, including members of the genera
Aquila and Haliaeetus, characterized by a powerful hooked bill, keen vision,
long broad wings, and strong, soaring flight. The eagle became the
National emblem in 1782 when the great seal of the United States was adopted.
The eagle was chosen because of its long life, great strength and majestic
looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent.
I visited Alaska at the end of October this year (1996), mainly
to see bald eagles. I had not had this in mind until I did a search on
the web for sites with information about bald eagles. It was at one of
these sites that I found out about Haines, Alaska, and the eagle gathering
that occurs every year. From late October through December, the Chilkat
Bald Eagle Preserve, between Mileposts 9 and 31 on the Haines Highway,
has one of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in the world. More than
3500 of the birds gather to feed on the salmon in the Chilkat River; sometimes
as many as 20 eagles roost in a single tree. Once I discovered this, I
had to get there! The only ways into and out of Haines, from Juneau, are
via small plane or ferry from the Alaska Maritime Highway. I flew to Seattle
and from there into Juneau, Alaska, the capitol of Alaska. I went to Juneau
to see the Mendenhall Glacier, but saw my first eagles there. I spent
two days in Juneau and then went onto Haines via the ferry. The next 6
days were a joy, spent in Haines viewing eagles and the spectacular landscape
through sunshine, rain, and snow. The locals were warm and friendly; the
weather, cold (but only down to 29 degrees). Needless to say, it was verrrry
hard to come home. You can view images from my trip below. Bald
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What to do with an injured bird!
I get lots of emails from folks that have an injured hawk
or an injured bird. If you have an injured bird, here's what to do.
Call the Humane Society and find a registered, licensed wildlife rehabilitation
facility as soon as you can. Follow their instructions.
If you don't know what species of hawk or bird it is,
it will be difficult to feed it properly.
If you are in the
United States, it is illegal for you to keep and care for any native bird.
I know that you care because you have taken the time to check this
page, so please get the bird to a rehabilitation facility as soon as
NEWS! As reported in the October 2000 issue of Birder's World:
"In an unexpected move, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced
in June that the Bald Eagle would remain on the endangered species list
indefinitely while government lawyers study existing federal laws regarding
"Once dropped from the endangered species list, the Bald Eagle
would still be protected from being hunted or captured by two federal
laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection
Act. These laws, however, do not explicitly protect the birds' habitat,
which is often threatened by encroaching development."
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