Archie the Bald Eagle is 30 years old this May
23rd April 2018
In May 2018 ‘Archie’ the Bald Eagle at Paradise Park in Cornwall, will be 30 years old. He has been the star of the summer Eagles of Paradise Display for many years. See a behind the scenes video clip below.
In April 1988, in the wilds of a Canadian forest, a Bald Eagle egg hatched. Within days, a forest fire raged through the area and firefighters struggled tirelessly to control the blaze. In a last ditch attempt to stop the fires rampage, a swathe of trees were felled to create a fire break. That was when the world literally came crashing down around the young bald eagle. Once on the ground the young eagle chick was rescued by forest rangers and taken to the Thompson Zoo in Manitoba, where he was hand raised by the keepers. At eight months of age, and now imprinted upon humans, the decision was taken by the Canadian authorities that this bird could not safely be released back to the wild. That was when he made his journey to his ‘forever home’ at Paradise Park. Archie, as he became known, has since become one of the highlights of a visit to Paradise Park, soaring above the crowds at the daily ‘Eagles Of Paradise’ 12noon display.
Keeper Leanne Gilbert “Archie is awesome, we work with him every day, and it is a privilege to work with such a magnificent bird. He is always the highlight of our 12noon flying display. He is also one of the most photographed. At the end of the flying session, a few keepers take out a few of the birds, including Archie, next to the public viewing area so people can get close and take photos and ask questions.”
These two close up photographs of Archie are by Keeper Leanne Gilbert.
The Park have also introduced a young Bald Eagle called ‘Dakota’, and after training in 2017, this summer sees Dakota flying most days in the 12noon ‘Eagles of Paradise Display’. Dakota was born in April 2015 at Magdeburg Zoo. See photo from 2017 below.
LEFT: Dakota from 2017 RIGHT: Keepers Sarah-Jayne Cooke and Sophie Piper with Archie and Dakota April 2018.
A Bald Eagle’s diet consists mainly of fish, but it is an opportunistic feeder. They prefer habitats near seacoasts, rivers, large lakes, oceans, and other large bodies of open water with an abundance of fish, they hunt by swooping down and snatching the fish out of the water with their talons. They reach 35–43 mph when gliding and flapping and when they dive it’s between 75–99 mph, although they seldom dive vertically. Considered a sacred bird in some North American cultures, the Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States of America.