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The Eagle Trains the Man

A tradition going back some 6,000 years
© Mike Gabelmann View Large

A Golden Eagle perches on the arm of a Kazakh horseman in the Altai Mountains of Northwestern Mongolia. The horseman and bird are hunting golden foxes, hares, even wolves. It is said that as the man trains the eagle, the eagle trains the man. To quote the writer Dave Stamboulis, hunting with eagles “ . . . requires a blend of force and tenderness as well as a profound respect for the natural world. The birds are treated with reverence . . . by the Kazakh hunters and are always released . . . into the wild after ten years or so.” 

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Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Eagle Trains the Man

Written by Todd Peterson

This is BirdNote.

[Music]

A Golden Eagle perches on the arm of a Kazakh horseman in the Altai Mountains of Northwestern Mongolia. The horseman and the bird - whose eye sight is perhaps eight times better than ours, are hunting golden foxes, hares, even wolves. [Music]

It is said that as the man trains the eagle, so …the eagle trains the man. (1) In a tradition going back some 6,000 years, the fierce and powerful bird instructs the man in patience, consistency, and in what living in nature is for an eagle. To quote from the writer Dave Stamboulis “…Eagle hunting requires a blend of force and tenderness as well as a profound respect for the natural world. The birds are treated with reverence …by the Kazakh hunters and are always released …into the wild after ten years or so.” (2) [Music + Golden Eagle]

Through his need to see the world through the eagle's eye, the hunter enters into the awareness of another creature.  With this bond, what a gift the bird gives him. To have sight become piercingly sharp. To know the freedom of soaring flight on those great wings. 

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Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. 
Music 'Summa for Strings' by Arvo Part.
Ambient wind sounds Natures SFX #02 'Wind Mod Soft' by Gordon Hempton
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org  April 2017  Narrator: Michael Stein

(1) Wikipedia.org/wiki/hunting_with_eagles

(2) Dave Stamboulis. http://www.vagobond.com/where-eagles-dare-the-kazakh-eagle-hunters-of-western-mongolia/

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