Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Eagles 2009


For the first time this season, I spotted our local bald eagles yesterday. It was a wet, grey day, and I saw one of them on the wing when I left work. I wouldn't have realized it was a bald eagle if it hadn't dropped down from the sky quickly across the street and landed near a small drainage pond. By the time I got over there with my camera, he was gone. But then I saw him on his favorite perch on my way home, so I knew at least one of them was back. So today, with better light, I stopped near the nest, and sure enough, there is activity. From the road, about all you could see was the big white head, bobbing up and down, tending to something in the nest that seemed to demand a lot of attention. They've added a fence across the edge of the field since last year, so it's not possible to get as close to the nest as before, but I did my best. This is the view from the road, the angle that most people see, shot with a 300mm lens, then cropped quite a bit.

I eventually found a thin spot in the trees that I could shoot through on the side, and I was surprised to find what I think is a juvenile eagle in the nest, along with the adult I'd seen before. The head is still dark and the feathers look a little mottled, but it's hard to see, really. I still think it's a young 'un. Either way, they are magnificent birds. I'll have to keep tabs on them, and maybe shoot with my bigger lens.

This is the view of the whole field from the road. If you didn't know there was a bald eagle in there somewhere, do you think you could spot it? See that huge nest in the second tree from the left? There's a bird on top of that. Trust me. There's a little white head on the top left of that nest. As far as spotting the juvenile in this picture, good luck!

1 comment:

Danny said...

Those are impressive photos given the distance. And you are correct that the dark-headed eagle is indeed a juvenile. Typically it takes up to four years for juvenile bald eagles to assume their characteristic white heads and tails and to become sexually active.