Eagle Action at Eleven Mile

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile CanyonI try to make it to the canyon at least once a week to check on the eagles. Very soon I expect to see the female sitting on eggs in the nest but that day was not today. When I arrived there were no eagles near the nest, only a red-tailed hawk a little further upstream. However I was happy to find Speckles on his favorite tree up by the bend, just waiting for me to photograph him :)

I pulled in as close as I could and trained my long lens on his position high in the tree. The light wasn’t very good so I hoped he wouldn’t stay right there very long but unfortunately for me I must have arrived shortly after he did. He took his sweet time preening his feathers and looking around until my arms and hands were about to fall off from holding the heavy equipment. My hand kept going asleep so I had to keep shaking it out to keep it from going numb and I was sure I was going to miss the inevitable flight.

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile CanyonEventually he called out and a few minutes later his mate arrived in a tree a few feet upstream. They chattered together for a few minutes and then he flew upstream. Fortunately after an hour of waiting I just happened to be ready and managed to capture a couple of nice in-flight images before he disappeared around the bend. I was glad to see his mate, I haven’t seen her with him this season and am glad to see she’s doing well. Eventually she flew upstream as well so I followed in hopes of better light.

Bald Eagle in Eleven Mile Canyon

I spotted them together at the south end of the bend and hoped that I’d be able to capture them together, but just as I got there Speckles flew off. I decided to wait and see if he might return and sure enough in a few minutes he flew back in and circled the river before landing on their old favorite tree, my favorite one to photograph 🙂 Eventually both eagles departed and after one more trip up the canyon they hadn’t returned or landed where I could see them. Typically they like to go soaring about that time of day so I just headed on downstream to take another look at the nest.

This time one of the nesting pair was at the nest for a few minutes before flying off and soaring high into the northern sky.

 

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