Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Finally, some eagles

I went back to Farmington Bay with the hope of getting some decent eagle pictures.  I went a week or two ago, but that was a bust. I started out with a few distant hawks on poles, barely visible in the haze and clouds.  I finally got close to some ducks, and they provided entertainment although they don't match the majesty of an eagle.
Then my luck changed.  I got to an area where I saw a few eagles, mostly sitting on the ground taking eagle naps.  But I have learned that sometimes you just have to be patient.  I stood in the truck with my head popping out the sun roof and watched for almost an hour.  The napping eagles started moving and quite a few more started flying in. I was in a good place at a good time.
By the peak, I was sitting there with about 20 Bald Eagles, all within 100 yards of me and most a lot closer.
These are some serious, powerful and beautiful birds.
Double click on this one to get a better look at his expression and focus.  I would not want to get between him and his meal.
That seemed to be happening fairly frequently though.  One eagle would find a nice piece of carp and then refuse to share with his (or her) buddies.  The fights were exciting but usually over quickly without any real damage.
Look at those talons.  What a great choice as a symbol for a country that wants to be portrayed as powerful.
There was a mix of immature eagles scattered in with the older adults. I enjoyed watching them try and establish themselves higher in the pecking order.
I have a better idea of what pictures worked best and which ones failed. Now I have to get back on a sunnier day and hope the eagles are still cooperating.

I was reading an article that there are approximately 50 eagles at Farmington Bay this winter. Some years it drops to almost zero and one year they counted over 450. They aren't really sure why it fluctuates so much. I would love to be around to see one of those years again.
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