View larger version of video HERE.
In November we spent three fine days on the prairies of western Kansas with our next Buck the Cubicle subject, falconer Lauren McGough & her golden eagle Miles.
Lauren is one of less than a dozen falconers in the US who fly a golden eagle. Her interest in eagles took her as far away as Mongolia, where she spent a year learning eagle hunting on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Golden eagle talons are made of keratin and are equal to the size of grizzly bear claws. You don’t want to mess with them.
Miles is an unusual golden eagle in that he was stolen from his nest as a baby and kept as a pet. After being confiscated, he found his way to Lauren who taught him that he could fly and hunt and catch his own meals. She uses a lure to help with that training. Our GoPro made it out alive, as do most hares that Miles tries to catch. While eagles are specially evolved to catch hares, conversely hares are equally evolved to evade eagles.
Lauren calls Miles “The Prairie Dragon”, especially fitting when he is protecting some morsel of food (as he is doing in the photo).