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Sometimes we guess wrong...

~Update on our resident Golden Eagle~

It's not easy to tell the sex of raptors like the golden eagle, so when a golden eagle was brought to NIWRA from Duncan, suffering from a gunshot wound to the wing, we gave it the royal name of King Alfred. Damage to the wing causes the flight feathers to be continuously thrown off, so the raptor cannot fly and is a non-releasable bird who will remain at NIWRA. After being at the centre for some time, “he” laid an egg! So now, we call her Queen Alfreda.

Queen Alfreda is glad we finally figured out her gender.

The golden eagle became a breeding raptor along the southeast coast of Vancouver

Island in the 1940's. This corresponds with the introduction of the Eastern Cottontail Rabbit to the area, and the large logging clear-cuts that have encouraged their favourite prey species.

The bottom of the golden eagle's foot is smooth, adequate for grasping and holding small mammal and bird prey. In contrast, the bottom of the bald eagle's foot is rough and adapted for grasping and holding its favoured prey – fish.

She does look like royalty, doesn't she?!

The golden eagle has a larger wingspan than the bald eagle, but overall is a bit smaller in size and weight.

Come say hello to Queen Alfreda the next time you visit NIWRA.

You can help the wildlife in care at NIWRA by making a financial contribution on our secure website. Thank you so much for caring about wildlife!


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