I’ve found Bald Eagles difficult to approach most of the time which is why a long lens is often needed. But not this one year old bald eagle, it has actually flown into an area where there are 8 or more photographers standing with their tripods and gear which has been very surprising.
I first saw this yearling bald eagle yesterday perched on a post on the side of a culvert posing for the other photographers that were already there. After a bit the bird flew off to the west and I liked the previews I was seeing on my LCD screen of the images I had taken of it. I thought it was very tolerant of the people and photographers viewing and photographing it.
I mentioned this bird in my post yesterday: Bald Eagles – Age Progression from one to five years old
A little later on a juvenile bald eagle flew from the west towards the group of photographers I was standing with and glided about 10 feet over our heads to land on a post not 15 feet from us. By now I was amazed and astonished by the behavior of this yearling bald eagle.
After about a half an hour the bird flew off but then returned again to land on a sign post near the road. When I left the young bald eagle was still perched on the post seemingly undisturbed by human presence.
I’ve observed at times where younger birds seemed a little less bothered by human presence before but they were nothing like this eagle who appeared to show no fear. The eagle appeared very healthy, it flew in and out several times and its eyes were clear and bright. No signs were visible that it might be ill.
I puzzled about it last night and felt very privileged to have seen this behavior and to have photographed the bird. It stayed for awhile and flew off. I thought it might be the last time I’d see the eagle but I was wrong.
This morning when I went out to the same location to photograph this morning I was once again amazed as I saw the one year old bald eagle perched on a sign post. Stunned may be more like it.
I took some images of the bird and then walked to the other side of the road to try and get some images of the other eagles in the area and kept turning to see if the bird was still there. It lifted off after a bit and flew towards the west into the stands of phragmites in the marsh.
The other eagles were not getting close enough to take images so all of the photographers were standing around chatting. I noticed a bird lift up out of the phragmites and said “bird up” as the juvenile flew straight towards us and we all started to take images. As the eagle flew closer and closer and I thought we’d get a fly over.
Imagine the surprise that we all felt when it landed on a snow covered railing not 12 feet from the closest photographer!
It was so close I had to walk across the road with my tripod and camera to get full body shots!
The one year old Bald eagle didn’t stay there long, I only took 60 images before it flew away. Maybe it will show up again the next time I am out photographing in that location.
I mentioned on an earlier post here that some days are magic. I’ve just had two more!
PS: I do hope this one year old does develop more hesitation to be around humans, not everyone would respect its boundaries like the people & photographers have the last two days.