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The Eagle Eye

The eye of an eagle is one of the most sensitive of any animal, and may weigh more than the eagle's brain. The secret to the exceptional vision lies in its retina. The density of rods and cones within a raptor's eye may be five times that of a human's. As the Golden Eagle rides hot-air thermals high into the air, it can spot even the slightest movement of its favorite prey, a rabbit, over a mile away. Learn more about this far-seeing raptor at Cornell's AllAboutBirds.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
The Eagle Eye

Written by Adam Sedgley

This is BirdNote!
[Ambient prairie sounds of Eastern Washington – with call of Golden Eagle]
Ever used the term “eagle eye”? The eye of an eagle is one of the most sensitive in the animal kingdom, and its size can cause it to weigh more than the eagle’s brain. The secret to the bird’s exceptional vision is the density of visual cells, the rods and cones of its retina.
Look at the back of your hand: your rods register the overall shape, the cones register details like contour and color.
The density of rods and cones within a raptor’s eye may be five times that of a human’s. Let’s let the Golden Eagle illustrate.
[Repeat call of Golden Eagle]
Hunting in open country, the Golden Eagle uses its seven-foot wingspan to ride hot-air thermals high into the air. There, it can spot the minute movement of its favorite prey, a rabbit, over a mile away.
If you’re in your car right now, moving about 40 miles an hour, try to remember where you were at the beginning of this BirdNote. Now imagine looking back to that point in your rear-view mirror and spotting a jack rabbit!
[Repeat call of Golden Eagle]
The next time you give the “eagle eye” to a raptor, chances are, it saw you first!
 [Repeat call of Golden Eagle]
Go eye to eye with a Golden Eagle, when you visit our website, BirdNote.org. I’m Frank Corrado.
###

Call of the Golden Eagle provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by A.L. Priori
Ambient track recorded by C. Peterson
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2009 Tune In to Nature.org  Revised Oct. 2007

ID#111505GOEAKPLU

 

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