Magnificent and Proud Bird of Prey - a portrait of Banham's Bald Eagle

May 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The magnificent Bald Eagle - who one earth could fail to be impressed by this majestic creature?

 

I saw this particular beautiful Bald Eagle fly yesterday during the the Birds of Prey display at Banham Zoo, Norfolk, UK - the sister wildlife park to Africa Alive (another fabulous UK zoo, also located in East Anglia, but in Suffolk). It really was spectacular and the Bird of Prey display, while entertaining, was also thoroughly enlightening - the handler was excellent.

It was a great opportunity to really test out my new Sony A7 camera - and right now I am in the process of editing the photos I took during my visit (these are the first ones I've edited). If you like these Bald Eagle photos, just wait until you see the ones I got of the vultures, the African Barn Owl, and other birds and wildlife. Will try to post them soon.

In the meantime, here are some Bald Eagle facts (courtesy of  the folks from Banham Zoo):

  • With distinctive white head and tail plumage and a yellow beak, the Bald Eagle is the national emblem of the United States of America, although it is also found in Alaska, Canada and Mexico.
  • More importantly, while not deemed to be an endangered species, numbers of Bald Eagles in the world have declined significantly, as with so many animals, thanks to hunting, habitat loss and the use of pesticides, according to the guys at Banham Zoo.
  • Bald Eagles love fish which is no doubt why they tend to live near large bodies of open water. However, they will also feed on birds, mammals and reptiles. And get this ... they can lift approximately half their body weight (their weight can range from 3-6.5kg).
  • They build their nests in tall trees.
  • As loving parents the male and female share the workload to raise their young.
  • And their scientific name for those who'd like to know is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

 

Working towards conservation and education

Of course, for some, seeing any animal in a zoo is never going to be OK. I would (like many people) much rather see these birds (and other wildlife) doing their thing freely in their natural habitats. However, zoos such as Banham - which is part of the registered charity Zoological Society of East Anglia - do a fabulous job all in the name of conservation and education.

Not all zoos are bad and, while I too struggle when I see animals in their zoo enclosures, I always try to remember the great work also being done in their names. And for the record, I'll always speak out too if I fear any zoo is not up to standard and is simply exploiting any animal for money. Banham Zoo certainly does not seem to come into that category I am very glad to say.

I can heartily recommend a visit - whatever your age!

 

Right I better get back to editing those other photos - Bird of Prey display pics here I come. Have a good evening everyone x

 

PS. In case you are wondering, yes that is fake grass he's perched on in the top pic!

 

Click here to my read previous blog posts, which includes news and photos of my encounter with the Cake Street baby blackbirds.

You can see the originals of these Bald Eagle photos by clicking here to visit my Birds Gallery.

For photos of other animals and wildlife click here.

If you love horses and all things equestrian click here.

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