Saturday, October 15, 2005

Midwest Birding Symposium 5

Neil Rettig visited the Birder's Marketplace in the RiverCenter today with his 10-pound Harpy Eagle, Cal. What an incredible creature!

Neil described his work in Guyana's rain forests to observe and film this raptor, which doesn't soar but travels from tree to tree while hunting. He said it hunts like a shark and feeds on monkeys, sloths, anteaters and deer.

A Harpy Eagle can fly 50 to 60 miles per hour with its long tail acting like a rudder for sharp turns amid the trees. Its facial disk filters sound, just like the feathers on an owl's head.

While Neil talked and answered questions from the audience, Cal's head rarely stopped moving. His head bobbed up and down and weaved from left to right almost the entire time, and he occasionally chirped. Cal probably will live to be 50 years old, while wild Harpies live maybe 30 years. Cal was raised by The Peregrine Fund in Boise, Idaho, before living with Neil.


Blogger l0rd0s3 said...

Hey Amy! Check out the pic on my blog of Neil's bird flying.. there were a few people who asked me to share it.... thought you might want to take a look. What a COOL bird!!! Rose (I don't think I introduced myself, but I was hanging around the Midwest Birding Symposium ;))

October 19, 2005 7:15 PM  

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