Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle

Heartening.  Just plain old heartening.  This book restores your faith in humankind.

Welcome to Alaska and the tree canopy stretching out over an icy, cold Alaskan river.  A baby eagle is about to crack her way through her cozy shell and begin her life in this freezing cold wild world.  Luckily, her mother is right there.  With zoomed in photographs we are privileged to watch how a baby eagle grows and changes.  Her fluff disappears and her wings change colors.  For four years she develops and becomes the beautiful, impressive bird we respect as our national symbol.

Good up to now.  Pretty routine.  What you'd expect from a gorgeously illustrated book about bald eagles.  But just like some human lives, the life of this eagle is about to be disrupted by a bullet.  It was a routine day and she was out fishing when suddenly a bullet shattered her beak.  She couldn't see.  She lay on the ground starving and growing weaker.

This will be a journey for the eagle that will include a policeman, a wildlife center and a raptor biologist named Janie.  It will also include bioengineers who make replacement parts for human beings, hundreds of hours of work , a laser scanner, a 3D printer and dental glue.

This book is about a miracle wrought by a chain of humans all with different skills and interests and abilities and all who shared the hope of making a difference for a living thing.

Winner of the  "highest honor in children’s book publishing given by a scientific organization, the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books."

40 pages  978-1943978281   Ages 7-12

Published by Persnickety Press, [2017]  40 pages  978-1943978281

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


BEAUTY AND THE BEAK is a new, nonfiction picture book about Beauty, the wild bald eagle that made world news when she was illegally shot, rescued, and received a pioneering, 3D-printed prosthetic beak. BEAUTY AND THE BEAK follows Beauty close up from the moment she uses her baby beak to emerge from her egg, through her hunt when she uses her powerful adult beak to feed herself, to the day her beak is shot off leaving her helpless. This brave and heartlifting story continues through her rescue, into the months of engineering her 3D-printed prosthetic beak and intense hours of her beak surgery, to the moment she takes the first drink of water by herself with her new beak.--from the publisher

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