Friday’s Feathered Friends- Bald Eagles

Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

At the end of February I met up with some friends one of them Gordon from https://undiscoverdimagesamongstus2.wordpress.com/ We met up in Oregon in the Klamath Basin region to do some birding. We were hoping to see American Bald Eagles and the other usual winter suspects.

What we didn’t expect was to see 17 American Bald Eagles around and on the first pond we went to!

You know we hit that pond several times while there mornings, and afternoons.

The first morning we were all together was Saturday we rose early and headed to the pond. It was a chilly 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but we saw Eagles. Later that afternoon we went back and saw an Eagle trying to retrieve its prey from the icy pond water.

American Bald Eagle- Incoming!

It missed, but oh, it was so cool seeing it try.

Missed!

It landed in the water then pulled up and swung around again for another pass.

Landed in icy water
Pull up!

This time it tried a different approach, and missed again!

American Bald Eagle over the Target!

Then it just flew away leaving us wondering if this was just retrieving practice?

American Bald Eagle Adult in Flight

It was quite exciting and entertaining to watch and one of the highlights of the week-end.

Fun Facts:

The American Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782.

These magnificent birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate brown bodies and wings.

Rather than do their own fishing, Bald Eagles often go after other creatures’ catches. A Bald Eagle will harass a hunting Osprey until the smaller raptor drops its prey in midair, where the eagle swoops it up. A Bald Eagle may even snatch a fish directly out of an Osprey’s talons. Fishing mammals (even people sometimes) can also lose prey to Bald Eagle piracy.

Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been the Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”

Sometimes even the national bird has to cut loose. Bald Eagles have been known to play with plastic bottles and other objects pressed into service as toys. One observer witnessed six Bald Eagles passing sticks to each other in midair.

The largest Bald Eagle nest on record, in St. Petersburg, Florida, was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6.1 meters tall. Another famous nest—in Vermilion, Ohio—was shaped like a wine glass and weighed almost two metric tons. It was used for 34 years until the tree blew down.

Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.

Bald Eagles occasionally hunt cooperatively, with one individual flushing prey towards another.

Bald Eagles can live a long time. The oldest recorded bird in the wild was at least 38 years old when it was hit and killed by a car in New York in 2015. It had been banded in the same state in 1977.

Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.

Fun Facts gleaned from All About Birds

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bald_Eagle/

I will be sharing more images from this trip in future posts. Until then I hope you cut loose a little and have a lovely week-end! 😀

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.2.1

more to come…

60 thoughts on “Friday’s Feathered Friends- Bald Eagles

  1. Such a great post!
    I heard about the wild Turkey and now I know more
    Also – if this topic comes up in a conversation I might just come back to your blog and read this post !
    Loved the landing and action shots of a wonderful bird and symbol

  2. Fabulous! This must have been an exciting shoot for you … I can hear the shutters clicking! I’m so happy they have made a successful comeback. We see them around here too.

  3. Wonderful shots, Deborah! I think they are beautiful birds but I do agree with Franklin. Even the Osprey would have been a better choice. They are fierce hunters and fishers. I’m so glad you had this time to spend with them, though. Birds are so amazing.

  4. These are awesome captures, Deborah!! The fourth photo with the full wingspan is a prize shot, congratulations!! I got a little scared with the last photo of the Eagle heading over towards the Ruddy Duck. 😉

    1. Thank you so much, Donna! It was exciting to see, but very weird as to why it didn’t pick it up and fly off with it? It didn’t bother the Ruddy Ducks at all, it flew off into the distance.

  5. Interesting about that one and the fish, one has to wonder! You did a nice job of capturing the action even it the Eagle didn’t do his part! Love the all the facts about Bald Eagles

  6. I really enjoyed learning more about the bald eagle. Benjamin Franklin had some good points. Of course your photography captured it beautifully. Thank you, Deborah!

  7. Great action shots, Deborah, and thanks for the information. I am always amazed that they can even see a fish, in the water, from the heights at which they soar. Poor guy, I hope he has better luck next time.

    1. Thank you, Dan! I know what you mean! I wonder if they suffer from aging eyes like I am. I hope it had better luck and found something to eat later. It really was weird seeing it give up on it, perhaps it was just playing and practicing it’s grab and go technique?

      Stay warm over there. I hear there’s another storm coming your way.

      1. It’s raining now, Deborah. They say it might change to snow around 2:00 (when I head back to our daughter’s place), but it doesn’t look like we’re going to get much.

  8. What a brilliant collection of photos, Deborah. Wasn’t it Ansel Adams that said “Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have somone click the shutter.” I am delighted that you were able to see the landing in reality. It is fun to see the world through the lens of your camera!

  9. Oh Deborah, so much fun and info I didn’t know! And you met Gordon, lovely. In this I find such poignant symbolism:

    “In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds.”

  10. I knew Ben Franklin wasn’t on Team Bald Eagle, but I’m not sure that his alternate choice, a wild turkey, is that swell either. Stunningly beautiful photos.

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