> ... and that huge condor (?) that sweeps Gandalf away gives
> the cry of the (American) Red-tailed Hawk!
I believe there is an unwritten law of film-making that all
raptors sound like Red-tailed Hawks... The giant eagle was
apparently Gwaihir [warning: may contain some LoTR spoilers]:
Gwaihir is the King of the giant eagles of Middle Earth,
and has the title Lord of all Birds. He is a descendant
of Thorondor, Lord of the Eagles of the Crissaegrim, who
aided the eldar in the First Age. He is a massive bird,
with a wingspan of more than ten meters. At some time
prior to Third Age 2941, he befriended Gandalf when the
wizard cured him of a poison arrow, probably orcish.
He served both Gandalf and Radagast as friend and
messenger and was friendly with both Elrond and Galadriel.
In 2941, he and his followers rescued Gandalf and Thorin's
dwarves, and later led his people in a crucial role in the
Battle of Five Armies. During the War of the Ring, he
served the Free People three times. First, he rescued
Gandalf from imprisonment in Orthanc. Second, he bore
from the peak of Celebdil after the wizard had been
returned to life. Finally, he rescued Frodo and Sam
from the lava that flowed down the sides of Orodruin
after the destruction of the One Ring.
At one point where the hobbits were travelling through the
fields past a few ravens, I heard what sounded like Australian
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