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Raising an orphan ed eagle is an extraordinary, if demanding, experience, which True, a Texas TV meterorologist, wildlife-show producer, photographer, and author (A Family of Eagles), cannot pass up. While shooting footage of a pair of brooding golden eagles from a photo blind in the middle of a 16,000-acre ranch, True sees a female killed by hunters and vows to save her two unhatched eggs. In a highly (sometimes overly busy) descriptive narrative, he descends a steep cliff to rescue the eggs, locates a surrogate mother (a hen), and later attempts unsuccessfully to return one of the chicks to the nest for the male eagle to raise. Finally, at the urging of the local Federal Game and Fish Agent, he decides to raise the surviving chick, Lucy, by himself, as part of an imprinting experiment (to see if hand-raised eagles can be later returned to the wild). Eagle fatherhood, True soon learns, requires regular rabbit hunting, as well as teaching a bird that doesn't know it's an eagle to be one. ""It struck me as humorous to consider climbing a cliff to deliver food for a creature with huge wings and speeds up to 175 miles per hour."" As time passes, Lucy finally does learn how to fend for herself--living in the wild, and accepting a mate. The touching epilogue tells how 13 years later, Lucy, now a mother herself, still recognizes and trusts True. A somewhat drab but unsentimental account, of primary interest to those concerned with the fate of eagles and endangered species.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1984
Publisher: Dodd, Mead