Eagles Before the Storm

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

Once I discovered that the storm wasn’t going to arrive until at least 5:00 this afternoon I was determined to pay the eagles a visit. The nesting pair wasn’t at the nest when I drove past so that gave me hope they might be upstream fishing, the best place to get pictures of them! I was nearly to the bend before I finally had an eagle sighting, in a rather unusual place though. One was in a tree on the opposite side of the road, almost straight ahead of me. So I pulled in and angled the truck a bit so that I would have a clear line of sight out the window. It was cold and the wind was blowing so I wasn’t complaining about that at all! Unfortunately it so happened where he was

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

perched there was a stick right across his eye so it wasn’t going to work out for a portrait but I thought I might wait to see if he would fly. After a few minutes the mate showed up and there was a bit of screeching and then they traded places. So what the heck, I watched the other one for a while hoping for a flight. I finally did get a good clean flight shot so I knew my day was a success no matter what else happened.

I drove upstream a few more yards and spotted another one on a branch surrounded by other branches making kind of a nice frame. I was lucky that it wasn’t too bright yet so I was able to get some contrast between the eagle and the blue sky behind. Sometimes when the sky is too bright the eagle’s white head is very difficult to see in a picture. Again I waited for the flight but missed the still because I was shooting video. I’ll put together the video tomorrow, I think I got some nice footage!

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

A few more yards of driving yielded another sighting so once again I stopped for some portraits and missed the takeoff. This guy just sat still way longer than my patience would allow. By the time he took off my arms and hands were cramping up from gripping the camera with the big lens while sitting still aiming the camera.

One last pass yielded nothing so I just kept on driving hoping for some action at the nest. Both of the nesting pair were in the nest when I arrived so I parked on the road, high above the riverbed and aimed the camera. Soon one flew and then the other so I thought my day was over but in just a couple of minutes one was back with a stick and then another with a stick so big it took both of them to wrangle it into place in the nest. Then I was treated to another takeoff and another landing with a stick. Seems the pair are getting ready either for the storm or for the upcoming hatching season!

Well anyway, it was the best day with the eagles that I’ve had in a while and I’m eager to get a look at the video! I can do that during the storm tomorrow 🙂


Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

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