Springtime in the Canyon

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Springtime in the Canyon along the South Platte River at Eleven Mile, perhaps the first real spring weather we’ve had. It seems like only a week ago that we were having a winter storm with 50 mph winds and blowing snow. I arrived well before the fishermen could make a giant dust cloud out of the place with their trucks, and fortunately there were still a lot of animals along the banks of the river.

Eagles and Osprey

Osprey eating fish

I was hoping to see a blue heron on this day, but eagles and osprey presented themselves first, along with a very large beaver living somewhere in the fast water in the upper reaches of the canyon.  I’ve never seen the osprey so active, at one point one came back to the same tree about half a dozen times, before catching a fish and taking it home. At one point one flew right over my truck and splashed down in the water.

I watched as he struggled to get out of the river, thinking that he might have injured himself. Soon though, he made it to the other side where I discovered the reason for his problems. When he finally got out of the water on the other side of the bank I could see he had caught a huge trout. He then proceeded to eat it alive, not 50 feet from my position.

Eagle Swarm

Osprey in Eleven Mile Canyon

A few more yards downstream I spotted another osprey on a branch right beside the river. He was in perfect position for a portrait and hopefully a flight, so I stopped to observe. After I had taken a number of pictures I could see that he was becoming agitated, more than usual when they are just getting ready to fly. He was obviously nervous about something! Pretty soon he took off and I looked up to discover the reason for the fear.

Just overhead was a group of about five juvenile bald eagles circling just overhead. I could see why the smaller osprey was nervous. Eventually the white hawk had joined the eagles in circling the river overhead. I have never seen anything like that before! And I wasn’t aware we had that many young eagles around!


Our eaglets are growing fast! As I neared the nest at the canyon exit I could see in the distance that there were two extra heads sticking up over the rim of the nest. I got out my big tripod and affixed the camera with a 2x teleconverter to watch the action. This seemed well worth shooting some video! Max cuteness!

Still Images

Here are a few more still images from the day for you to enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Springtime in the Canyon

  1. Beautiful images and I loved your video’s ! Nice to see that the young eagles are doing well.
    Have a lovely weekend steven and many greets.

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