Econintersect: The story posted 19 November 2012, Feeding the Eagles: Incredible Pictures, has turned out to have some elements of a hoax. The Eagles are real, and they are wild, but they are not in the location indicated by the text from an unknown source that was published on the 19th. The web site Hoax-Slayer has the story behind the fanciful tale (as we posted it) about mid-winter eagle feeding on the Mississippi near St. Louis and Alton, Ill. It turns out the real location is a wild life refuge near Homer, Alaska and there is nothing temporary about the feeding – it is done on a regular basis. Click Read more >> for the rest of the story and some more revealing photos.
The lack of authenticity for this story was pointed out by areader who left a comment at Naked Capitalism, where this story had been linked. The commenter suggested that this site had intentionally perpetrated a scam to get web traffic. Yes, we like web traffic, but we unfortunately lack the intelligence to perpetrate a scam, which goes hand-in-hand with lacking the intelligence to detect one.
This Econintersect editor should have paid more attention to the scenery and the “hardscape”. The scenery in the very first picture of the preceding article shows an expanse of water that no way resembles the Mississippi River near St. Louis. And if you look closely you can see that there is a sign in the picture which, upon close examination, can be determined to read EAGLE FEEDING AREA across the top line. A more discriminating editor would have noticed that and moved on to find the following close-up from the Anchorage Daily News:
The next piece of pertinent information that was overlooked can be seen in the fifth (next to last picture) in the first article. The small mountains visible across the water don’t have any close counterpart along the central Mississippi. In fact, a picture found in Wikipedia taken from a similar perspective, without the cloud cover of the fifth photo, shows a significant mountain range behind the lower mountains seen before. Even this uninformed Econintersect editor knows that the Rocky Mountains aren’t that close to the Mississippi (although skiers in Chicago and St. Louis probably wish they were).
The story of the feeding station and Jean Keene, the now deceased lady who ran it, can be read at a web site dedicated to her memory. There are additional eagle photos there.
This editor is now about to get ready for a big Thanksgiving turkey and hopes he can escape being confused with that bird. He is also hoping that he won’t be challenged to eat crow.
By the way, will cranberries go with crow?
- Feeding the Eagles: Incredible Pictures (GEI News, 19 November 2012)
- Feeding the Eagles (Brett Christensen, Hoax-Slayer, 08 October 2010)
- Homer’s Eagle Lady…. (indietraveler, Anchorage Daily News, 01 January 2009)
- File: Homer Eagles2.jpg (Wikipedia)
- Jean Keene: The Eagle Lady ( Memorial Website)