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In this BirdNoir mystery, the private eye fields a call from a woman who says a large bird that looks like a Bald Eagle stole a Rainbow Trout from her pond. Through a process of elimination, the detective is able to rule out a few likely suspects and arrive at the probable answer. When you think you’ve spotted an eagle, remember to examine all the evidence.
BirdNoir - Dial E for Eagle
Written by Mark Bramhill and Conor Gearin
This is Bird Noir. I’m Michael Stein, Private Eye.
It was late when the dame called me...
[PHONE RINGS, PICKED UP]
Dame: Oh Michael, you have to help me!
I could tell she was desperate...
Dame: I just saw a big, brown bird with a light head fly off with a Rainbow Trout from my pond — a fish murder, Michael! I think it was a Bald Eagle. Can you help me find him?
Not so fast, I thought. People are often quick to assume they’ve seen a Bald Eagle, but there were some other suspects to rule out. Sometimes people see the big wings of a Turkey Vulture and think it’s an eagle — did it hold its wings flat, or did they lift up in a “V” shape like a paper airplane?
Dame: Those wings were as flat as a pancake!
All right, so not a vulture then… ah! But when this bird passed overhead, did the wings have a kinked shape, like the letter “M,” or were they straight and squared off?
Dame: It looked just like a letter M! M for murder, that is!
Aha! We’ve found our fish-killer — it was an Osprey! A likely suspect. Those birds love boosting fish from lakes and ponds for their dinner.
[Osprey flight call]
When you think you’ve spotted an eagle, remember to examine all the evidence.
For more bird mysteries, go to our website, BirdNote.org. I’m Private Eye Michael Stein.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Production Manager: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Digital Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Osprey ML 99769831 recorded by P. Marvin.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote January 2022/February 2024
Narrator: Michael Stein Dame: Avery Trufelman
ID# noir-02-2022-01-10 noir-02