Whether in Alaska or in the Dolomites, eagles are generally seen as Kings of the skies. This film devotes itself on the one hand to the bald eagle, the heraldic bird of the United States, and on the other, the Golden Eagle, Europe’s largest predatory bird. Many bald eagles live in the Chilkoot State Park in Alaska’s south. In fact, more than 400 pairs reside there for the entire year. With a wingspan of some 2.5 metres, they are amongst the largest of their species. The offspring have to leave the eyrie by September at the latest, as then, winter sets in.
On clear, starry nights, one can experience the Northern Lights. There are certain places where especially many eagles group. 3000 to 4500 of them. Because, beneath the Chilkat ice blanket, chum salmon feel at home. The reason for this is the volcanic activity of the surrounding areas. Hot sources feed the different tributaries of the Chilkat. It is the fourth and final salmon migration of the year – nowhere else does this take place so late in the year.
This combination of ice-free water and spawning fish facilitates the survival of many young eagles through their first winter. In the Dolomites, we observe a Golden Eagle couple and their offspring. The strategy of hunter and hunted is impressively documented. For the very first time we experience a groundhog’s fight for survival, attempting to flee the eagles’ eyrie at a height of 2000 meters, despite the fact this means confrontation with the eagle’s offspring. Golden Eagles have virtually conquered the entire northern hemisphere. But the future hunting grounds of the young eagles belongs to the most beautiful: the Dolomites – as majestic as the Kings of the skies.
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