Page 45 - On the Banding of Eagles
ISSUE : Issue 31
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1
(What else are we finding from the band? ings, what else is it teaching us?) 26% of the dead ones that were recovered were shot. The other reason--found dead at the base of a tree--that was the most common thing. Then the next most common was shot. So shooting is still a real problem. It's very sad, because sometimes it just seems to be that people still think they're go? ing to carry away children, lambs, any? thing, you know. (Do eagles hurt people?) Well, none that I've heard of, anyway. I hate to say never, but none that I've heard of. We have had one man who climbed an eagle nest and stole a young bird and tried to take it home for a pet. And of course, the bird got flying around the neighbourhood and caused a lot of problems in the area, and the bird was taken away from him. What happened was, he'd been feeding it by hand and this bird got used to a person feeding it. It was given to me to re-release to the wild, and to do that I had to try to break it of people. I thought I had this accomplished. I fed it in a way so it wouldn't associate food with people; put it in a pen far away from people and threw food in from behind, when it wasn't look? ing. I fed it this way for about a week and a half. And then I took it to an area near Middle Cape. And a day later, I had a phone call from someone in Middle Cape who said there was an eagle attacking people. This bird by this time weighed 10 or 11 pounds, looked huge, and was coming up with its wings spread, walking, and its mouth open--looking for a handout. If you see a bird with a wingspan of 6 or 7 feet waddling up with its mouth open, what are you going to think? They thought that this bird was going to attack them. So I took the bird again, did the same thing for a- bout the same length of time, took it down to Framboise. And I got a call about three days later. Every time a car stopped at Framboise Cove to look at the salt marsh, this silly bird was coming up and scaring the daylights out of them. And I went down, but couldn't find it, and I just assume that the bird never made it. And that's be? cause someone tampered with it. The guy probably liked birds, you know, the guy who brought this one home for a pet. The success rate with releasing a bird like that to the wild is very, very low; and it causes a lot of bad problems to other ea? gles , because those people are left with a fear that eagles aren't afraid of people, they come rushing right up to them. It's a very sad thing to see happen. (Were there other things that you saw in reading the article from Issue 6, that didn't jibe with your own experience? The cliff nests were one.) And the amount of attacking Herrick was talking about. He was talking about them attacking young birds and this sort of thing. That didn't really jibe. (He's talking almost 100 years ago.) That's right. And birds of prey at that time had a terrible reputa? tion. Just take a look at Audobon's draw? ings of birds of prey. They just look very bloodthirsty and mean creatures. I love his drawings, but it just shudders me to look at them. (You don't think that there's been a gradual change in these creatures?) We understand them better by far. I don't think so much that they've changed. I'm sure they are adapting, as we are; but I think primarily it's just that we understand them a heck of a lot better than we did then. The eagle study is a continuing program of Nova Scotia Lands and Forests. Major participants in this program are: (Richmond and Cape Breton Coun? ties) Dave Harris, George Ball, Paul Langdon, Blaise Landry, John Landry, John Mombourquette; (Inverness and Victoria Counties) Dan Banks, Buddy MacLeod, Merryl Bustin. Photos of immature eagles are by Dave Harris. CO-OP ' DO-IT- YOURSELF Home Improvement Centre • Complete stocks of lumber, building supplies. Plumbing, Heating and Electrical materials. We cater to the building public. Component Homes & Cottages • • CO-OP Building Supplies Sydney Port Hawkesbury 539-6'10 625-2600 Better Health Centre Atlantic Canada's Oldest Nutrition Centre Natural Foods, Vitamins & Cosmetics - Yogurt Machines Steel & Stone Grinding Mills & Acme Juicers PROMPT MAIL ORDER SERVICE Phone 562-1237, or Visit Our New Store at 369 Charlotte Street, Sydney Congratulations to Ron Caplan and Cape Breton's Magazine on ten continuous years of publication. We look forward to printing Cape Breton's Magazine for another ten years. Web & sheet-feed offset Single colour through four colour process Kentville Publishing P.O. BOX 430 KENTVILLE, N.S. 678-2121 (45)
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