A discovery made by a student at the Australian National University was on the front page on this day in 1979. Miss Elizabeth Reymond, a master's student, had been hand-rearing two wedge-tailed eagles for her studies throughout the previous two years.
Her experiments led her to discover that, despite eagles having excellent eye-sight, humans had better vision when in bad light. Eagles could see well in bright daylight, as shadows gave good contrast, as opposed to in bad light where there was little contrast.
Miss Reymond's eagles, which she had raised since they were eaglets, were named Little and Big Bird.
Little, with a wingspan of more than two metres, would be released in future weeks. Having been fed on chickens, fowls and pigeons, he would need to develop an aversion to the birds, so he did not prey on farm chickens and fowls and potentially get killed by an upset farmer.
Miss Reymond would feed him some bad chicken to make him sick as an attempt at a sort of aversion therapy.
Big Bird would not be released at all and would be kept as a pet. She was bigger than Little and more aggressive. "Big Bird will attack people if released", Miss Reymond said.
Miss Reymond was concerned Little would be given a "hard time" by other eagles once released, and did not even know if he would take to the wild. If not, he would also be kept as a pet, leaving Miss Reymond with two eagles to keep her company.
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