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Fly Like An Eagle

Bill Radke

Karen Fritsche

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(Dan Hart)
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This weekend, locals and tourists are braving freezing temperatures and falling snow to watch eagles in action at the Bald Eagle Festival in Haines, Alaska. The majestic birds are gathering by the thousands along the mostly frozen Chilkat River to feast on spawning salmon. It's a great show. The eagles, who mate for life, show their affection by locking talons with their lovers and dramatically free falling through the sky. We hear eagle tales from Al Batt, the emcee of the festival and a self-described bird freak.

Notes from Host Bill Radke:

I'm from Seattle, and one thing I miss about my hometown in this time of year is eagles. I once took a November eagle-watching float down the Skykomish River to watch the birds gather in the trees along the shore looking for spawning salmon to eat. (I didn't know this, so I'll pass on the lesson to you: never sit with your feet on the bottom of a small boat that's in a freezing river.)

On this week's show, I talk to Al Batt, the Minnesota humorist/storyteller/birdwatcher who every year flies to the remote town of Haines, Alaska, to emcee their annual Bald Eagle Festival. Because the Chilkat River has an aquifer of constant-temperature groundwater, it's practically the only section of river in Alaska that's not iced over in November. The salmon figured this out long ago and use it as a spawning ground, to the delight of thousands of eagles who have only one place left to eat this time of year.

Al makes an arduous journey himself every year. This week, the snow has been falling around the Juneau Airport, making it questionable whether he can get to Haines. I'll ask him what it is that draws him to the festival every year. And maybe you'll miss your own favorite autumn nature spot.

audio iconSounds from along the Chilkat River in Haines, Alaska, including eagles, ravens and trumpeter swans (Real 0:39)


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Judy Tuttle

    From Westminster, MA, 09/17/2008

    The concept of people being able to Fly Like Eagles is stupendous!
    But there's other ways to embody the concept besides flying through the air. How about flying to a new level in personal development, or making boundless income? You can experience it at www.FlyLikeEagles.com
    Let me know what you think.

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