Jean Keene, a woman known as the "Eagle Lady" who gained national acclaim for feeding hundreds of eagles at her Alaska home in the winter, died Jan. 13. She was 85.
She suffered from breast cancer, heart troubles and lung problems, her son, Lonnie, said.
With her flaming red hair, bright red lipstick and large round glasses, Keene was a fixture in Homer, an Alaska fishing and artists community 130 miles south of Anchorage.
She started feeding the eagles in the late 1970s, when she was working at a fish-processing plant called Icicle Seafoods, located on the narrow spit of land that juts into the Kachemak Bay. Every day she would chop hundreds of pounds of salmon heads and tails, as well as cod and herring, most of it spoiled or freezer-burned, and toss it to the predatory birds.
The eagles' wintertime arrival and the woman feeding them on the pebbly beach outside her tiny trailer attracted photographers to Homer from throughout the country. As a Washington Post reporter put it in 2005, "If you have seen stunning close-up photographs of bald eagles with fish in their beaks in glossy magazines . . . chances are good that they were shot outside Keene's trailer."