African Long-Crested Eagle

"Chrys was captured in the wild of his native Africa to be sold in the United States black market pet trade. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discovered and confiscated him, they found that his beautiful distinctive crest had been cut off to disguise him."
--World Bird Sanctuary website.

"We also found out that he developed infection in his talons and had to have two of his 'toes' removed and that is why he was never rehabbed and returned to the wild. I didn't ask, but I would hazard to guess that whoever captured him trimmed his nails too short."
Dee Puett, photographer


  1. Sad. While he probably still could have hunted even with two claws missing (these guys don't take large prey) the odds of him screwing up are greater without the full complement; there's also the difficulty--quarantine-wise--of repatriating an animal once it leaves a given country (and they probably had no locale on him if he was discovered stateside.) The mind boggles at the thought of owning a raptor as a "pet." They make splendid educational birds--never owned one, but I have friends who have done education with them--and of course, a handful make good falconry birds (the rest are too big, too small, hunt things that are no sport and/or not useful to the falconer.) But my experience of caring for and interacting with friends' owls, hawks and vultures suggests that not only do their tempers leave a lot to be desired, so do their intellects. Glad to see this guy has a comfortable home where he can do what eagles do best--loaf all day while managing to look impressive.

  2. For what it's worth, I've heard it said that geese are much smarter than raptors.

  3. I am no expert lol, but I would hazard a guess that neither geese or raptors are very smart. I see more of them dead along the highway than I do Opossum around here. (Dee)

  4. @Dee, maybe you don´t see many opossum because the raptors ate them all before being hit themselves?

    1. While the buzzards keep the back roads clean the freeway is where I see most of the dead wildlife here, and most of them are smart enough to avoid dining there. I see a lot of hawks and owls, particularly in the northern parts of the city. (Dee)

  5. This time of year in Wisoncin, I see white-tailed deer more than any other animals on the road.

  6. We have no shortage of geese here in NYS, but I see very few waterfowl hit by cars--gulls either, despite their scavenging on roads and parking lots. The most common large birds--I have seen 1 dead turkey vulture and what I'm sure was a dead bald eagle, both on the Interstate--that I see as roadkill are roughly as follows: ruffed grouse, turkeys, owls and pheasants. Small birds--far and away robins when in season. Roadkill in general (big enough to notice):--rabbits and hares (in summer you usually can't tell from a car) gray squirrel, raccoon, opossum, woodchuck and skunk--occasionally foxes (mostly reds) muskrats and deer, once in a while a coyote. Turtles (painted and snapping) common in warm months.

    I really need a new hobby, it seems.

  7. I'd also add that geese and even Muscovy ducks do seem a lot more personable and responsive around human keepers than do most raptors (falcons and the larger eagles being exceptions) but I suspect we're confusing intelligence with social behavior. Waterfowl--geese most certainly, ducks, if less than geese, more so than raptors--are social creatures and domesticated ones identify humans as part of their "flock." Raptors are not totally solitary, given that they mate for the duration of the season, and in the case of the larger species, often for life, and some--the Harris hawk and certain species of caracaras and falcons--seem to have a loose social structure, hunting in groups or with older, fledged young assisting with following broods (though nothing as developed as, say, wolves or hyenas.) They may migrate in groups but they don't live in flocks like geese, so have less need for sociability.

  8. The last time I was in Arkansas, the roads seemed paved with possums.


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