The eagle with the tied feet.

I was at a bird show recently.

Falcons, hawks and owls demonstrated the accuracy and speed at which they could fly, soaring to great heights then swooping low and narrowly missing members of the audience.

The grand finale of the show was the white-tailed sea eagle. Native of Scotland, it is currently being attempted to re-introduce them to Ireland. A very impressive bird. Strong, imposing, and even though this one wasn’t fully mature, it had a body-weight of 7.5m and a wingspan of 2.5m. You wouldn’t fancy being the prey in its sights.

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However as you can see in the picture, its feet were tied. Lothar, the man in charge told us that this was because if the eagle was left to her own devices, she was liable to fly off and perch in a neighbouring tree for between 5 and 8 hours, while a member of staff had to sit in attendance.

Hence we didn’t get to see her at the peak of her powers. As dazzling a creature as she was, she was limited to short flights, no more than 10-12 ft off the ground.

And it struck me, that this eagle was the same as the star under-age footballer who never fulfilled his potential because of off the pitch distractions. Or the politician who could bring a crowd to its feet with his words and charisma but didn’t get re-elected because he neglected the day-to-day concerns of his constituents. Or the singer who could hit all the notes like no other but never learned the words.

If you want to get to the peak of your powers, natural talent will only get you so far. Add hard work, discipline and attention to detail to your talent however, and you’ll be dangerous!

 

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