Adult Bald Eagle in flight in morning lightAdult Bald Eagle in flight in morning light – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, not baited

Normally during the month of February Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area has hundreds of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) within its boundaries but that was not the case in February 2012. Because of the unusually mild winter we had many of the Bald Eagles that typically winter over in the Salt Lake Valley stayed in locations further north where lakes and rivers that typically freeze over had areas that were ice free.

4 year old Bald Eagle in flight with prey4 year old Bald Eagle in flight with prey – Nikon D200, f9, 1/400, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 300mm, natural light, not baited

I missed seeing dozens of the Farmington Bay Bald Eagles sitting on the ice, flying over the marshes and stands of Phragmites and scooping up carp from the water this year. Last year I may have seen well over a hundred Bald Eagles on a single trip to the WMA and this year four was the highest number I counted on a trip there.

The Bald Eagles that were in the valley have now moved towards to their breeding grounds along with the others that stayed north of here. I wish them a successful breeding season and I look forward to seeing them this coming winter.



  1. Karen Bonsell March 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Mia, these are the very shots that I hope to achieve someday! Just beautiful!! Hopefully, we will have a more normal winter next year and you can see the hundreds again! I really cannot imagine seeing that many at in one day!!

    • Mia McPherson March 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Karen, it is very impressive to see so many Eagles in one location. Hopefully this comingwinter will be more normal. Thank you for your lovely comment on my images.

  2. Julie Brown March 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Awesome feather detail on the head, and that look is intense!

    • Mia McPherson March 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you Julie, Bald eagles always seem to have such intense stares, probably part of the reason why they look so powerful.

  3. Sheila Atwood March 27, 2012 at 7:01 am

    We saw unusually large numbers of Bald Eagles on Deer Creek Reservoir this year. We counted 34 in one afternoon. Wish I had your skill at getting them on film.

    • Mia McPherson March 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Sheila, this mild winter sure made the places where the Eagles showed up much different than years past. I hope to be able to see more eagles this year when I go up to Montana. Thanks for your very kind comment.

  4. Susan March 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Awesome photos and post!

  5. Bob Zeller March 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Mia, these are awesome shots. I just love the second one with the eagle gripping the fish. I run out of words to describe my feelings for yours – and for Ron’s – photographs. All fantastic.

    • Mia McPherson March 27, 2012 at 5:38 am

      Thank you Bob. The four year old Bald Eagle with the fish was awesome, I was also able to photograph it as it ate the fish on top of the pole. You are very kind.

  6. Carol Mattingly March 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I have only seen one bald eagle and that was in the Pacific Northwest. I can’t imagine seeing hundreds at a time. That has to be unbelievable. I love that first image, but I like seeing images like the second one because you never get that close in real life to see them acting normally. Carol

    • Mia McPherson March 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Carol, it is amazing to see hundreds of Bald Eagles at a time. They are fascinating raptors. Thanks so much for commenting.

  7. Dan Huber March 26, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Fantastic shots Mia. We have a few around here that occasionally fly over, but must be neat seeing so many. Sorry you missed them this year

    • Mia McPherson March 26, 2012 at 6:17 am

      Thank you Dan. It is neat to see Bald Eagles in the hundreds when they over winter here. There is next year to look forward to!

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