I bought this book, Gifts of an Eagle by Kent Durden, on a whim one day when the Kindle version was on sale. I had never heard of it, but I’ve since learned that this book was a bestseller when it was first published in 1972. I’m not surprised; it’s a wonderful true story of an eagle named Lady that lived with the Durden family for 16 years in California.
Ed Durden, Kent’s father, got a special permit from the State of California to capture a young golden eagle from its nest and raise it for educational purposes. The book begins with her capture and goes on to tell the reader all about their experience raising Lady. She developed a really strong bond with the family, especially Ed, and it becomes clear that she’s extremely intelligent and independent. Even in captivity, she had a strong mothering instinct and I thought that the stories of how the Durdens dealt with that were really interesting.
The story of Lady and her life with the Durden family is absolutely fascinating. Not only did I learn so much about eagles and their behavior, but by the end of the book I almost felt like I knew Lady myself. You can read more about the Durden family and Lady on this website.