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Golden Eagle - The Other Eagle

Why do we overlook this equally majestic bird?
© David C. Walker View Large

The Bald Eagle stands proud as our national bird, spreads its wings on our national emblem, and serves as mascot of countless sports teams. So prominent is this iconic bird in our culture that we sometimes overlook a second, equally majestic eagle: the Golden Eagle. While Bald Eagles are confined to North America, Golden Eagles are native to Europe and Asia as well. Long before the Bald Eagle adorned envelopes at the post office, the Golden Eagle flew the cosmos as personal messenger to Zeus, the ancient Greek overlord.

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Transcript: 

BirdNote® 
Golden Eagle - The Other Eagle
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Bald Eagle calling]

With its immense hooked beak, striking white head, and imperious pale eyes, the Bald Eagle’s image holds sway throughout American life. The Bald Eagle stands proud as our national bird, spreads its wings on our national emblem, and serves as mascot of countless sports teams. [Fans yelling!]

So prominent is this iconic bird in our culture that we sometimes overlook an important fact. It shares the continent with a second, equally majestic eagle: the Golden Eagle. [Golden Eagle calling] The Golden, with a nearly 7-foot wingspan, matches the Bald Eagle in size. But its head and neck are lustrous golden brown, the source of its name.

The two birds fill contrasting niches. Bald Eagles, which are found over much of the continent, [Bald Eagle calling] inhabit the water’s edge and prey on fish and water birds. Golden Eagles are birds of the West. [Golden Eagle calling] They prefer mountain canyons, grasslands – even Arctic tundra – where they hunt mammals, especially rabbits.


And while Bald Eagles are confined to North America, Golden Eagles are native to Europe and Asia as well. Long before the Bald Eagle adorned envelopes at the post office, the Golden Eagle flew the cosmos as personal messenger to Zeus, the ancient Greek overlord. [Thunderbolt and Golden Eagle calling]

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Call of Bald Eagle [ML 137879] recorded by G.Vyn; and call of Golden Eagle [4167] recorded by A. Priori.
Thunder close Nature SFX #7 recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org  February 2014/2018/2019  Narrator: Michael Stein
ID#     GOEA-02-2014-02-11    GOEA-02

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