Over recent years the Bald Eagle population has increased, leading to the species being removed the endangered list. For American bird watchers like myself, the resurgence of our nation’s hallmark is exciting.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland is now hosting a growing population of majestic bald eagles. So much so, that Blackwater now hosts an annual Bald Eagle Festival to honor the eagle.
While driving along the wildlife loop, I literally lost count of how many eagles I saw. At least 15, I’m sure plenty more. They were in the trees, flying overhead, and along the sandy shores of the marsh. Giggling and crying along the way, their huge wingspan that ranges from 6 to 7 feet, it’s hard to miss them when they’re in the air.
And you never know when one is going to land on you.
The eagle’s markings change as they age. Starting with mottled brown feathers, the white gradual comes out on their heads and tails.
Bald eagles can live up to 20 years, and are sacred amongst the Native American people. Their feathers are revered and are central for many religious and spiritual customs. They are also considered spiritual messengers between God and mankind in several cultures. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_eagle) Their role in Native American rituals and symbolism will have the bald eagle forever endure in culture.
While enjoying all the eagles fly around and about. There was a solitary sentry on the frozen ice. Keeping a careful watch on his dead prey – a Canada goose – this eagle watched and waited. He wasn’t eating, and really looked quite chubby. So perhaps he wasn’t hungry and was saving the goose for a later snack.
But his vigilance didn’t stop an invading juvenile bald eagle to come in and chase him off his quarry.
One of the best parts of the bald eagles at Blackwater NWR are the live feed cams installed above a bald eagle nest that one can enjoy. Lovingly maintained for the past 11 years by the Friends of Blackwater NWR Eagle Cam you can get up and personal with a bald eagle. All from your living room.
As hospitable as Blackwater NWR is becoming, if I was a bald eagle, I’d certainly want to live there too.
Great shots, I have seen a bald eagle around where I live, but have never gotten any shots that were keepers. I was always in my boat and always saw him when it was leaving the area. Capturing the bald eagle has to be a rewarding experience. Wonderful work!!
That is usually my story Jim. I find a bird, and before I know it, he knows I’m there first. Most of the time I get bird butt. I bet in Georgia some can be found. Any dams near your area?
Yes I have one about a mile or two from my house and if I travel to the other end of the lake there is one there as well. I have two big lakes , I live on one the other is about 30 minutes away.
That is so awesome that they are near you. I’m sure you enjoy them immensely.
Yes I love to fish , but my photography usually takes over, getting a shot of something new is always on my list. I usually go several times a year to the spill way and travel the river road to see if I can find a bird or two.
I like fishing when I’m catching. If not catching, I get bored pretty quick. 🙂 Indeed, I love to explore and find new things as well.
Reblogged this on Enjoy Unlimited Holidays and commented:
Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers Dhar.
All my pleasure 🙂 you’ve a great blog.
These are beautiful! I would love to check this area out. We’re getting a few passing by here. My area has a trail of lakes, along with lake michigan for them to follow. I would need to buy a real camera to capture them!
I bet you have a lot of eagles along Lake Michigan. Just keep your eyes out for them. For the camera, check out the Canon SX50. You can get it for under $300 gently used on ebay or other places. It has the equivalent of 800mm zoom!
Oh, thanks for the heads up. When I totally get ready to buy a real camera, I will bug you about it. 😆
Great post! I love Eagles! Is the Meetup going to have an event at the festival this year?
Yes we are! Here is the link for the page. http://www.meetup.com/Feathered-Friends-Photography-Meetup/events/219508315/
Im waitlisted for now
Got you in my dear. 🙂
Thanks! I do hope that I have the right lens for this event. I’d really like to get some good images of the Eagles
What do you shoot with? Canon or Nikon? At the visitor’s center they have captive raptors on display. They bring them out close so you can take photos of them. The balds are a bit further and would need some reacy. What do you have for a lens?
I shoot Canon. The longest lens I have is 200. I may be able to borrow a 400 for the Meetup. I would love to get some spots of the Eagles in flight or in the trees
I have a 100-400mm lens that you can borrow that day. I’ll remember to bring it along.
Thank you so much!
Appreciate it Sarah!
Thank you so much Joshi!
It’s great to see such a positive turn around in my lifetime. It seems it wasn’t that long ago they were endangered and now more and more people see them. My dad has a pair – at least – nesting near him and has seen them often flying over the lake in the summer. Maybe this summer I’ll get to see them as I did a few years ago. Definitely a special treat.
I can’t believe you got to see so many and it seems without even trying! What a happy day. 😀 Not sure whether to be happy for the Eagle and his goose or feel sorry for the nearby geese. Then again maybe they’re relaxed because they know he’s not going to be attacking any time soon!
Great post. 🙂
Oh lucky dad! He has his own private bald eagle couple. I’ve seen three occasionally fly by on my river, but have no idea where they really hang out.
I agree, I didn’t expect to see so many there that day, but it was wonderful to be in their presence. Yep, the eagle had the one goose dead already and was happy with that. He did look quite fat too. Thanks my dear!
Maybe when you’re all healed and good you can go on an adventure in search of your eagle’s nest! 😉