One of my passions in life is taking photographs. And last year, around the end of January, I discovered that the area where I live celebrates a month-long Eagle Festival. Wanting to get out on a sunny day, I grabbed my son and headed up river to an eagle education site. I soon learned that even though the Eagle Festival was still very much in full swing, peak eagle-viewing time was passed, much like during our tulip time when the petals are leaving the blooms and fields are topped.
This year, noticing an uptick of eagles around our home area, I paid attention, and started venturing out in December. With winter months bringing spawning and dying salmon to our Washington State rivers, not only does this provide stock for one of our most popular catches: salmon, but it brings Bald Eagles looking for an easy meal. Eagle photo-ops abound!
About 300 feet from my front door is one of these smaller rivers. One of the beauties of living so close to eagles’ fishing ground, is being able to hear and see eagles every day; sitting in trees, flying over, circling around, and once in a while, dropping fish heads on the lawn.
These eagle photos were taken on 2 different rivers: the Samish and the Nooksack. And because photo-ops happen not just when I’m out scouting for a great picture, but when I’m out and about doing my daily business, the photos were taken with my point and shoot camera (Canon SX710 HS), that travels with me in my purse, and my digital SLR (Canon 70D).
The first group of shots was taken on the Nooksack River. I was scouting for eagles, when this bird flew towards me from a few hundred yards away, with a fish in its claws. It flew right up to where a small group of us were standing, and perched in a nearby tree to eat dinner. Click on a photo to see it in its entirety.
The next photos were caught in the spur of the moment in the front yard, and by a nearby river.
I happened upon these eagles while driving along a country road. Fortunately, I quickly found a safe place to pull over so I could capture their beauty before they flew off.
Finally, here are a few photos from a rare clear, sunny winter’s day. From November to March, the Pacific Northwest is known for its cloudy, rainy, drizzly, and foggy days, many of which include clouds down to the treetops. But once in a while, when a cold front comes through, we’ll get clear skies and freezing temperatures; which makes for some pretty photo opportunities… and freezing fingers.
No matter how many times I photograph a Bald Eagle, I never tire of how majestic they look. Now that eagle season is winding down, and it will be a few months until our tulips bloom, I’ll have to go exploring and find my next photo-op. Maybe it will a Great Blue Heron.