Catching an Eagle with a Boomerang
I started throwing boomerangs on a regular basis as an Engineering student on the California State University Campus in Sacramento.
Oneof the first books that I purchased on the subject of making boomerangs was a Dover reprint of the Bernard Mason book about how to
make multibladers. My first commercial venture was to buy yard(meter) sticks from a local hardware store, cut the sticks in half and
then make cross stick and pinwheel boomerangs to sell on campus. I painted these bright colors and added kinetic art that looked cool
spinning in the air. The yard sticks cost only 5 cents and I would sell the finished cross sticks for $2.
On the last day that I was in Sacramento, after graduation and just before flying to my first Engineering job in Florida, I went to the Sacramento City Park to throw my boomerangs. It was a warm day with almost no wind, so two bladers did not work so well. I took out somecross sticks and pinwheels and started throwing them in dead calm.They worked really well.
After throwing for about an hour, I was really in a groove and was juggling pinwheels. All of a sudden, I heard a flapping noise and saw
a large shadow on the ground. Then, the shadow got smaller, darker and came into focus as a large Golden Eagle landed on the ground about 2 metres away from me, his eyes transfixed on the large pin wheelboomerang that I held in my hand, still spinning as I held the end ofthe central bolt in my fingers. The eagle was hipnotized by the spinning motion of the pinwheel with a spiral kinetic design and it
was content to just stand there and stare.
Looking off into the distance, I saw several people running toward me.They were still a half km away and were obviously involved somehow with this eagle. I also noticed a long leather cord tied to one of the eagle's legs. I just held the pinwheel bolt in one hand and kept the pinwheel spinning by hitting the blades with my other hand. I also kept my body very still to avoid frightening the eagle away. After a couple of minutes, the eagle people arrived and grabbed the tether.
The exhausted zoo keepers explained that the eagle had been born in the Sacramento Zoo. They had too many eagles, so they were training this one to fly and hunt before releasing it and the tether had brokenand the eagle had escaped. They chased it on foot until they saw the eagle start circling and then land near me. They thanked me for helping them recover their eagle and then left. This is the only time I have ever heard of someone catching a raptor with a boomerang and without any harm to the bird. The Aborigines would be envious.