The Eagle Lady

06 marzo 2007

For more information: Special thanks to Cary Anderson and his incredible work© Cary Anderson. For more information please visit

Every winter, for the last thirty years, Jean Keene, 82, has been feeding up to 300 bald eagles in the backyard of her house. The intrepid Keene, who lives in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, emerges every morning from her mobile home and tosses out several hundred pounds of fish.

As you can see in the video, Jeane Keen - known as the "Eagle Lady" - maintains one of the most unique bird feeding stations in the world. Sometimes, the crowd of eagles is so huge that it brings us to memory Alfred Hitchcocks film, 'The Birds'.

According to Reader’s Digest, Keene began feeding a pair of eagles who showed up in her yard in the '70s. They chowed down on the fish she doled out and the flock grew rapidly. Now, each December, the raptors return and Keene gives out 500 pounds of fish daily thanks to local fishermen and suppliers.

Photographers also seek her permission to perch nearby: when Keene feeds the eagles, she's also accompanied by a gaggle of visiting photographers with tripods and super-long lenses, coming from all across the world. Some sources estimate that 80% of all photos of USA national bird have been taken in this backyard in Homer, Alaska.

However, the inhabitants of Homer are not so happy with the eagles. According to The Washington post, "bald eagles have been dining here on small white cats and small white dogs" for years. "The birds periodically fly into cars, electrocute themselves on power lines" or "make themselves sick from gorging on toxic garbage at the Homer dump".

And there's something even worse: "Bald eagles are fearsomely big and their copious droppings are fearsomely stinky".

Jeane Keene has become a celebrity all around the world and nobody want to be nasty with her, but her activities could be dangerous for the eagles. "Most wildlife biologists who study bald eagles agree that feeding the birds is harmful to them”, as they could become lazy animals and stop hunting for themselves. Today, the population of bald eagles in Alaska is still huge - about 50,000 - and thriving.

In February, 2006, Jean Keene received a special exemption from the Homer City Council which passed a ban on feeding eagles and other wild predatory and scavenger birds.

According to the new ordinance, Keene will be able to continue to feed eagles on the Homer Spit until April 2010. Everyone else, including several Outside photography groups, will be fined for the practice. Proponents of the ban said eagle feeding was a public health and safety issue, citing an increased chance of disease among birds and humans.

For more information please visit Special thanks to Cary Anderson and his incredible work.

More info and sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5