Pole Support for a Golden Eagle

This photograph shows me using a pole support. Now this was not used because of the weight of the eagle because he was an average Scottish male Golden Eagle. After all I had carried a female golden eagle unaided for more than twenty five years and I was the most ardent critic on any type of arm support for any pedestrian falconer.

Mounted eaglehunters are a different story as I have experienced riding in the Mongolian and Kyrgyz mountains for up to nine hours a day. Their “Baldak” supports are a great help in reducing fatigue.

This support was advocated to me by my good friend the late Morlan Nelson. He developed it as an aid in flying his many eagles for his cinematographic projects for wildlife films for Walt Disney. Morlan developed this pole perch to retrieve his eagles who were flying with no jesses. Whilst they were eating their reward that was tied to the perch, Morlan was crouched down below the perch and would reach up with a specially adapted jess that he could clip around each leg in turn with one hand.

I found it useful to train a young eagle to return to, it also was a high perch to give the eagle an advantage perch when walking through heavy cover where no trees could give an advantageous perch. It also supplanted the short thumb stick I was use to carrying as an aid to walking in steep wet moorland hillsides.

I just wish I had met Morlan many years ago and could have gleaned much more knowledgeable experience form the great man.