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Thursday, November 5, 2015


Canon 7D, Sigma 150-500 mm IS

 He was the third eagle I had seen so far this morning.  I was on Douglas Lake at sun up and cruising downstream toward Muddy Creek when I saw the first eagle at Henderson Island.  It flew quickly and I couldn't get a picture.  I crossed the lake to the cliffs on the opposite shoreline which is a short cut to Muddy Creek.  An immature eagle left his perch as I approached.  I made the turn to the south and continued on toward Muddy creek.  The eagles were not cooperating by posing for pictures.  That is not a problem because I have all morning and I love being on the lake early.

 This guy was very regal but he just sat there stareing at me.  That's ok but its the usual fare.  I wanted something unique and different.  I'd probably have to go to Alaska for that.  Was I ever wrong.

I kept idling along toward Muddy Creek when I noticed a young eagle far away diving for a fish.  He caught it and proceeded to fly to the shoreline with his catch.  Odd.  They usually go to trees - tall hardwoods to eat their catch.  He is a baby and probably doesn't know any better.  Listen to me second guessing a bald eagle.  How vain the human!  There were bald eagles flying in all directions. I've not seen this many ever, and I've seen my share.
The immature went to the shoreline dead ahead and landed with his catch.

 He dropped it and appeared to be nervous.  I soon saw the reason why.
An older immature, almost adult, came blasting in and almost knocked the immature with the fish off his feet.  This guy wanted to take the fish off the youngster.
 They postured and threatened each other and the younger immature backed away, but kept vigil.
 I call the interloper an older immature because he is almost a mature eagle but still hasn't lost the immature plumage.  The plumage on his head still has the dark gray of youth and white flecks still show on his body plumage.  I'd say he's 4 years old or slightly younger.

 The younger eagle backed down.  Probably a smart move.  I'm guessing the older immature is a male because the younger immature actually appears larger than the older, white headed immature which would make "her" a female.  The females are larger than the males.  
 The visitor is sure raising hell though.  He's been screaming ever since he landed.  I suspect he is trying to intimidate the other immature.
 The white headed eagle proceeds to take over the lunch but the younger immature keeps pace with the thief making the uninvited eagle nervous.
 The white headed eagle is really screaming!   All this over a fish.  This is an excellent example of wildlife exhibiting power, the strong survive the weak shall perish.  Out there its all about food and shelter and a fish in the talons can be life or death.

 The younger eagle kept approaching closer and closer until the older eagle felt that his private space was violated and he flew away a few yards.

 The young one kept pressuring the older one until the white headed eagle finally left.  Odd that he would give that fish up so easily.
 Junior could now eat hearty unimpeded.  

 Then, all of a sudden he became alert and tried to fly off with the fish.
 What was the big deal here?  I looked around and saw nothing at all.  No humans were walking on the shoreline and no boats were approaching.  Guess he was just getting nervous on the ground.
 He was having a hard time lifting that fish off the ground with one leg to launch into the sky with.  Have to remember he's just a kid at this point in life.

 He finally grabbed the fish with both feet which would allow him to bend knees and jump, thrust himself off the ground.

Then I saw what all the panic was about.
 The young eagle with the fish knew this guy was coming and was trying to take his catch and hide somewhere.  He didn't make it.
 This cowboy dropped out of the sky from nowhere!
 This youngster is huge-really huge and he hit the ground running straight toward Junior and the fish.  He appears prehistoric.

 He stops to measure the situation before him.  He is a massive eagle youth.  I'm beginning to wonder if he is a golden eagle youth..

 He stares at the young eagle with the fish and then takes off at a run straight toward the dining youth.
This guy is awesome!  I've never seen an immature like him.

 The bully charges toward Junior
 This reminds me of a Godzilla movie

 Junior screams out!!  The charge is stopped.
 Junior tears off pieces of flesh and devoirs all that he can because he knows this stronger eagle will soon take away his prize.

 The thief fluffs himself up and spreads his wings wide in order to appear as large as possible.
 This is all about intimidation.  The idea is to frighten the opposing eagle enough to drop the food and fly off.

 Well, this guy is big and intimidating for sure.

 Below:  Junior takes to the skies with his fish.
I moved on and soon another eagle appeared.   Is there no end?  I hope not.

 This guy is pretty damn impressive!

 And yet another eagle.  He wouldn't wait for me though.

 And yet another.

And, last but not least as I was heading for the boat ramp to leave I noticed a flash and took the shot.  I knew it was red tail hawk but I didn't know I'd get the picture.  Luck..
Got him.  He was going into that tree to rest up I imagine.  His legs are hanging down in preparation to grab a limb.

Thats it for this entry.  I probably bored you to death with eagles.  I'm glad you tolerate me.