Friday, August 03, 2012

The mystery of Washington's Eagle

Giant raptor may have dominated North American skies
The idea that we have missed, among the birds of America, a huge eagle, seems preposterous. But John James Audubon's claim of a new species, Washington's eagle, is not easy to discount. If it was valid, where is it now? Are the rare modern sighting claims accurate, or is this creature extinct?

COMMENT: The last claimed sighting mentioned in Shuker's column is a little hard for me to swallow: the bird as described is too large for a practical raptor, and the sketch looks oddly owl-like. The rest of this column, though, is captivating.


omegaman66 said...

Interesting read. It may have once existed in low numbers but I don't believe it is possible to still exist.

Matt Bille said...

It is very hard to believe the continent's largest raptor still survives. I wonder if, being a rare species, it was hybridized out of existence, and its genes still crop up occasionally in extra-large memers of other eagle species. We may never know.