At the annual Eagle Hunters’ Festival in Ulgii, in western Mongolia, a Kazakh girl holds her 18-pound female golden eagle. A few girls now hunt with the men, and this girl’s hat, made of furs from animals she has caught, is a testament to her skill. The hunters on horseback carry their hooded eagles as they ride the rugged mountain slopes, releasing the eagles to soar and catch foxes, martens, or wolves. This eagle knows her trainer’s call well: in this competition, the girl rode and called her eagle successfully from a nearby mountaintop.
– Jean Gendreau ©2014