Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Bald Eagles of Big Bear, California

Eagle Spirit by Christian Riese Lassen, Mother of All Eagles (journeyingtothegoddess)
Native American eagle totem
Every winter the bald eagles return to the San Bernardino Mountains to escape from the harsher climates of Canada and Alaska. Visitors and families can witness these majestic birds in their natural environment, and even take part in the yearly bald eagle count.

Discovery Center Tour
Within close proximity to Big Bear Frontier Cabins, the eagle exhibit at the Discovery Center offers a variety of eagle facts, literature and a life-sized replica -- always a favorite among the youngsters. Additionally, there is a two-hour guided eagle tour that meanders through the forest to get a closer look. When eagles aren't soaring the skies, they're on the prowl for food. They often perch upon lakeside tree tops in search for fish, small mammals and even ducks.

Adult bald eagles sits in a pine tree ready to swoop down on fish in Big Bear Lake.
For those yearning to venture out on their own, the "eagle discovery guide" is a great resource for locating eagles and learning more about their activities, habits and dietary adventures in the wild. It's easy to spot eagles with the naked eye, but binoculars are recommended for a more detailed look.
The Eagle Eye
Eagle, Ganymede Roman era relief (wiki)
On average an eagle's eye is the same size as a person's, but its precision is far more impressive. An eagle could spot a fish in the water from hundreds of feet up in the trees. Eagles also have two centers of focus, which means they can see forward and to the side simultaneously. So when an eagle spots its prey from above, it literally "locks its eyes" on it. In other words, if the prey starts to move, the eagle can move with it, while it keeps its eyes directly focused on the prey.
Great Family Outing
Children are always very excited when they spot an eagle in the wild. So if you're worried about the youngsters getting bored on this excursion -- think again.
Forest Service Annual Eagle Count
If you're interested in being part of the annual eagle count, they're always looking for volunteers. Since 1978, the Forest Service has held annual eagle counts throughout the San Bernardino Mountains. Numbers of eagles have ranged from 10 to 40. More
Rotten luck: archaeologists hail "unique" Mesolithic fermented fish find
The fish weren’t quite this well preserved; in fact, the archaeologists at Blekinge were lucky to make their find as fragile fish bones usually decompose without trace.
The fish weren’t this well preserved; archaeologists at Blekinge were lucky to make the find as fragile fish bones usually decompose without a trace (Imaginechina/REX Shutterstock).
[Eagle food.] 9,000-year-old fish bones discovered in southern Sweden provides earliest evidence of fermentation for food preservation anywhere in the world. 

The Scandinavian diet is famously hard going for anyone who doesn’t like pickled fish -- and a unique archaeological discovery has proved that it was exactly the same more than 9,000 years ago.
The find has revealed that freshwater fish were being fermented on an industrial scale in southern Sweden, through a complicated and distinctly unappetizing process involving pine bark and seal blubber, which made the region capable of supporting a far larger population than previously thought.

The discovery was made during the excavation of an early Mesolithic settlement site in Blekinge, on the Baltic sea in southern Sweden. It is the earliest evidence of fermentation being used to preserve food anywhere in the world.

The fish were preserved without salt or storage jars. Instead they were acidified using pine bark, wrapped up with seal fat in seal or wild boar skins, and buried in a pit. The process required a cold climate... More

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