Bald Eagle Lifelike Reproductions

Animated heads turn by remote control from up to 1/4 mile away.
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The reason my eagles are legal to own and sell is because they are reproductions made from a variety of poultry feathers and polymers. They are so real looking that in 1995 two Fish and Game officers actually confiscated one in Alexandria, Virginia believing it was a real eagle. They took it to the Smithsonian in Washington DC for testing. The late Roxy Laybourne (who pioneered feather identification) confirmed that it was indeed just a good reproduction made of poultry feathers. Of course, the officers returned the legal eagle to the owner with apologies. If you own one of Joel Donahoe’s eagle reproductions, you do not need to be afraid of fish and game officers hassling you. They are aware of my realistic, lifelike reproductions now.

There are only three other taxidermists (I know of) who produce a very good quality eagle reproduction. They do really nice work and are even more anatomically correct than mine. I started off doing what they are still doing way back in 1982 but quickly found that most people prefer them to be a bit bigger than life, (more like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of eagles). 

Unlike my competition, who use the same molded body, face, beak, and foot molds for each reproduction, I custom make each body, face, beak and foot. I am always going for the bigger bodies, bigger wings, bigger necks, longer toes and talons which makes them look even more impressive than the way God designed them. If that sounds a little arrogant, keep in mind — this is art work – NOT taxidermy or exact copies of the Great Creator’s work.

As far as I know I am the only one who makes an animated eagle reproduction (besides Hollywood animators) that is capable of moving so life like it can fool an audience into believing they are watching a real, live, trained eagle up on stage. Even Hollywood animators cannot pull that off without camera tricks and retakes. As my animated eagles answers yes and no questions correctly (with a shake or a nod of their head), people are captivated at first. Some even start to realize something is fishy. Real eagles can’t understand English! The trainer must be giving the eagle some sort of signal! Crowds are always delighted to discover the magician’s secrets and amazed to find out it is a legal, animated eagle reproduction made from just poultry feathers.

None of my eagles are exactly alike. Each eagle is copy written to protect it from copycats. The standing eagles measure 32-36 inches beak to tail and are 11 – 13 inches wide. I do not have just one mold to which I glue feathers like all the other eagle reproductions I have seen. My eagles weigh about 6 pounds without the falconer’s perch and without all the remote control systems in them. The perch is collapsible so that the bird can be put up on a shelf or desk if desired. The beak and talons are made of fiberglass.

Even though my animated eagles are pathetic child’s play compared to God’s, I keep trying my best to imitate His work. Did you know there are a number of texts in the Old Testament where God uses his eagle creations to explain incredible spiritual truths? Most people don’t know much about golden eagles, so they don’t have a clue what God is trying to explain in His book when He uses eagles to help us understand His ways. Let me give you a few examples.

*Eagle parents are very attentive and keep their eaglets warm and dry (under their wings) until after the young eagle has grown all their feathers. Then the parents will “stir up the nest”. This stirring means tossing out all the soft nesting material (rabbit fur, and feather down) and forces the young eagle to stand on their own feet in order to strengthen their muscles and talons in preparation for eagle life. Now Deuteronomy 32:11 “As an eagle stirreth up her nest — so shall the Lord lead you” should make more sense. Bottom line: Eagle parents always have the best interest of the eaglets at hearteven when it seems harsh. The young eagles must learn to stand before they fly.


*When young eagles are old enough to fly, they do not realize they are capable of flight. In fact they are still terrified of falling out of the nest (their comfort zones). The young eagles have spent their whole lives trying their best not to get close to the edge of the nest. Other birds (like ospreys) can coax their young out of the nest with food, but it is not so with eagles. Inevitably the day comes when the parents have to kick them out of the nest for their own good. Mama eagle must physically push them out of the nest while Daddy eagle circles nearby waiting to catch them if they are so paralyzed by fear they forget to open their wings and start gliding. Have you ever felt afraid to leave your comfort zone? Then you do know what it feels like. 

The good news is if they can’t get the hang of gliding quickly, Daddy eagle will gently catch them before they hit the ground and he will return them to the nest. The bad news is, in a few more days Mama eagle has to kick them out again until they finally learn to fly. Did you know young eagles HAVE to be forced to leave their comfort zones and learn to trust the invisible world (air and wind) in order to learn do what they were predestined to do? Isn’t that very similar to the way humans must be forced to leave their comfort zones in order to conquer their fears, and take a leap of faith into the unknown invisible spirit world? Now at least you have a better idea of what God is referring to when He says “I carried you on eagles’ wings” (Exodus.19:4.)

After young eagles learn to fly, they love to soar up, up and away. That is what the Prophet Isaiah was referring to when he described “those who wait upon the Lord … THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES” Is. 40:31. Eagles are the only birds that are known to fly up over the storms of life to the blue skies and the warm sunshine. Have you ever flown up over all the storms of life to the invisible God where the warm SON shines and there is nothing but blue skies? Bottom line: Do you have a real prayer life that fills you with comfort and hope even when the storms rage all around you, or is your prayer life pretty much screaming in fear and panic as you fall? 

When eagles get sick from eating something they shouldn’t have, they will fast for long periods of time until they are well. When eagles get old or their feathers have been damaged beyond repair, they will find to a high, safe place and pluck out all of their old feathers and “wait” until all new feathers grow in. They instinctively know what to do in hard times and come out of their trials looking like young eagles with their health and strength renewed. If you know these few eagle facts, the benefits of patience, fasting, solitude and prayer become increasingly beneficial. I hope these few eagle facts help you grasp the depth of meaning in Isaiah 40:31.

Can you see through God’s eagle creation how He always keeps our best interest in his heart no matter how much we distrust him, cry about what we don’t want, and complain about how he is not treating us right? Did you know than Jesus Christ taught people that God is like the invisible air around you? “Though you cannot see the wind, you can see what the wind does”. He went on to ask a question that is just as vital today as it was 2000 years ago. “If I speak to you of earthly things and you can’t grasp that, how can I speak to you of invisible heavenly things? Read John 3:1-21 for the whole story.

For all you skeptical types who doubt the God of Israel will use the things he created in the natural world to teach humans spiritual truths — the least you could do is read Job 38:1 – Job 42:6 someday. It is four entire chapters of questions about nature which God asked Job in order to answer all of his why me, why this, why that questions and demands. God loved Job and He eventually answered Job’s questions to Job’s satisfaction. The answers are still there if you will only honestly answer the questions. It is not hard. Any child can do it. Take your best guess. If you think Socrates was the first to answer a question with a question – you would be wrong again. The book of Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible and was written long before Socrates.

Take your best guess at each question. I suspect you will come to the same conclusion Job did. “I am sorry Lord, I really didn’t know what I was talking about. Now that you have spoken to me, I am ashamed of myself (for demanding answers of you) and I repent in dust and ashes” (repent means: I won’t do that anymore). If you have ever felt a little like Job and have a million questions for God when you are going through hard times — why not try answering His questions first? Are your troubles as bad as Job’s? If not, maybe what he went through might be of some value to you. Maybe that is the main reason God wanted Job’s experience recorded in detail? The scriptures say “these things were written for our benefit”! 


Thanks for considering these things,
Joel Donahoe

 for legal eagles without animation,  
 for eagles with animated heads, 
 for animated heads with opening mouth and loud screaming capabilities, 
 for flying eagles without remote control, 
50% deposit required, plus packaging and shipping.  Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

For more info, or to place an order, 
click on the “Contact” button. 

All eagles are copyright 2005, Joel M. Donahoe