THE PROUD EAGLES by Mary Patchett
Kirkus Star


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An Australian boy's misshapen foot and his home at the foot of Bulliginan breed in him a passionate devotion to the wedgetall eagles that live and nest on Christmas Cake Hill. Aquila and Girinda earn his love and his respect, and his loyalty to them helps him to face inimical local opinion for he argues -- as does his father -- that the birds are a help to cattle raisers and bush farmers, and his watching of the mating, the egg raising and the dangers, man-made as well as nature's, that his birds survive, keep his unflagging interest alive. When the time comes, and he is able to have an eaglet for his own, he is able to prove that the old falconry rules will hold for this type of hunter, and Yarak, in his wildness and his attachment to Lanny, becomes a beloved pet and friend -- and source of worry. A book, in which boy and concentrated hobby, in which the eagle endures ""a battlefield in the struggle for liberty, touched by a pride that yields only to death"", here illumines a striking picture of indomitable birds observed patiently and truly, understandingly and vividly, with a grim violence too that is part of their existence. An all out for true nature followers, this is exciting, unusual and holding ornithological portraiture set in a down-to-earth Australian bush frame.

Pub Date: July 24th, 1961
Publisher: World