Saturday, November 17, 2012


I guess you know by now that I have a fixation on keeping track of the immature bald eagle known as C 2.  His story precedes this entry on the blog.  Its been almost a week since my first meeting with C 2 and I haven't been able to find him since - until today.  C 2 is the immature bald eagle sitting on the limb in the above shot.

The morning was beautiful.  I almost didn't put on my insulated coveralls but, after the boat started moving I was glad I did.  I was using the old aluminum jon boat today.  A friend and I spent all day yesterday changing the manual cable steering on it to hydraulic steering.  It worked like a champ.  That old tub is turning out to be a sweet little boat.

As luck would have it I would be running in the area where I met C 2 for the first time.  I didn't have much confidence I'd run across him again but one never knows about such things.  There were a lot of fishermen on the water and I would be very busy with them.  Eagle watching would be limited to the time it took to get from one boat to another.  I wasn't on the water ten minutes when I saw the first immature bald eagle.

I had to see him fly.  I needed to get a good picture of the underside of his wings where the tag was attached indicating he is the one.

He was a handsome fellow but he wasn't C 2.  It's amazing how these huge birds can move through the canopy without touching a single branch or twig.

This eagle has an awesome looking face.  He will be a dynamic individual when he becomes an adult with white head and tail.

Good heavens, these are gorgeous creatures!  They are the absolute image of what freedom is.  I really like Benjamin Franklin but, I'm sure glad we didn't end up with his suggestion for the wild turkey to be our national symbol.  And yet another eagle appeared.  Above and below:

I needed to see the underside of his wings.
 The picture above is confusing, isn't it.  Look long enough and it will make sense

It wasn't C 2

I noticed a couple guys watching me from their fishing boat and when I pulled up to them they asked me what kind of bird that was.  When I told them it was a young bald eagle I don't think they believed me.   Its amazing how "uninformed" some folks are who actually spend a fair amount of time out here on the water.  I guess the only thing of importance to them is catching the next bass and - that's alright too.
It wasn't fifteen minutes until another eagle appeared.  They seem to be congregating here in this one quarter mile area of the lake.  There are very huge, tall trees in this neighborhood and few houses.  One thing I suspect is that all these immature bald eagles don't reside on Douglas Lake.  I really think they are migrating here from wherever.  Whether they leave or not in the spring will be interesting.

He wasn't easy to see tucked back in the limbs and foliage of that big tree he was in.  The sun was behind him, as it is for all the shots this morning.  Mornings are tough shooting on Douglas Lake because the big trees, eagle country, are all on the east side of the lake and that's the side that the eagles gravitate to.  That's the side the sun rises on.  Rise in the east and set in the west.  I only hoped I could get the all important shot of the underside of his wings.

This wasn't him either.  But, what a dynamic eagle.  I'm noticing little idiosyncrocies with eagles as they stand or fly.  Some shift their weight from foot to foot as they stand stoically and move their head side to side taking in the grandiose sights from their perches.  Others let their wings hang down loosely in a relaxed stance making it appear they are collecting warmth from the morning sun.  Some launch boldly from their limbs while others appear to gently fall forward and catch the wind on their enormous open wings.  However it's viewed - a bald eagle's launch into flight is a sight to behold!

 Every time an eagle flies off away from me I find myself saying out loud, "stay safe young one.  Stay safe."
 I was giving little thought to photographic excellence this morning.  I wanted C 2.  It was an obsession.  I kept finding immature after immature and I was hoping I'd see those symbols under one of these bird's wings.  It was important that they fly for that important photograph of their wings.
Am I seeing what I think I see?  Two immature's on the same tree.  Wow!  I've seen seven immature's on this short piece of shoreline and in only a couple hours.  I can't believe this.

They are sitting with their backs to the sun, as usual.  This is terrible!  I have to get the boat positioned so the sun is at least on my right side.  That way I can shoot directly into the trees.

One of the eagles was preparing to fly.  They wouldn't wait.  The pictures would be what they would be.

Gorgeous!  What a sight!

No, there was no C 2 tag on the wing.  That left one more eagle to try to photograph.
 Oh no - there he goes.

I couldn't see him well enough to determine if he had the emblem under his wing.  I watched him fly down the shoreline.  He was heading into some tall trees.  Yes - he landed.  I can see him.  Maybe I can get a second chance at him.

This time he waited for me.  He is beautiful.  What a fine, healthy looking eagle.  He's a big boy too.  This would be the last opportunity of the day to photograph any eagles.  I was nearing the end of my run on this side of the lake and would have to cross over to the opposite shore line.  There are no large trees and that shore line and it is infiltrated by humans.  No eagles would be over there.  I switched off the vibrating engine and waited for that important moment of flight when the wings would be outstretched.

Great Scott!  I still couldn't get a good visual on that bird's under wings.  I thought I saw some red but wasn't sure.  I felt disappointed.  I was certain, however, that I collected some really good, clear photographs as he made the leap into the sky.  I would download and enlarge the shots when I got home to ascertain whether or not this eagle was C 2 or not.

I finished the shift up the other side of the lake and departed for home and my computer.  I downloaded the shots of the last eagle and cropped the wings for enlargement and look what I found.  The original picture is shown with a cropping of the same shot.
 Note on the top of the wing

There is the C 2