Donnerstag, 6. Dezember 2012

Feathers of kings

Golden eagle feather, macro shot.
Maybe you noticed my love to feathers and today I want to introduce you to some very special feathers of mine. Once it was one of my big wishes to own a big feather of an eagle. Well, now I own several eagle feathers, and most important to me two feathers of the golden eagle. But in my collection is also a very rare eagle feather: A feather of the mystical harpy eagle! Read and see more under the cut.

I want to show you the difference in size between the two. At first sight the feather of the golden eagle looks bigger than the one of the harpy. But you have to consider the place where these feathers normally grow on a bird wing. The feather of the young golden eagle was a primary feather. The harpy eagle feather was a secondary feather. Now you can imagine how big the wing of a harpy eagle can be!
The upper feather belong to a young golden eagle. The lower feather belong to the harpy eagle.
Wing study.
Nowadays it isn’t easy to get a feather of a harpy eagle. I’ve been looking for a long time but never found one. So I asked my trusted taxidermist who also happens to be a falconer. He knew someone, a feather collector, who still owes him a favour, and so he organized me this amazing feather. It was a great feeling to hold it in my hands – wow! By the way the feather came from a zoo animal, so no harm was done.

Close up of the harpy eagle feather. Nice stripes, eh? It is about 40cm long!
Close up of the young golden eagle feather. It is about 44cm long, wow!
Too see a living harpy eagle is as hard as finding a feather of those birds. I know only one zoo in Germany, it’s the zoo of Nurnberg. But better call and ask about the harpy eagles before you visit this zoo. Because these birds are in a breeding programme and thus are sometimes away from public display. I learned that the hard way because I took a long journey only to see these birds and then there were no harpy eagles at all! NOOOOOOOO! I was so sad ;_;
Maybe the next time…

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