Sometimes I wonder About the Birds I Photograph

/, Birds, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Utah/Sometimes I wonder About the Birds I Photograph

First year Bald EagleFirst year Bald Eagle – Nikon D200, f10, 1/250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited

About the birds I photograph. In February of 2011 there was a first year Bald Eagle at Farmington Bay WMA that seemed totally unafraid and unconcerned about the people near it. It ignored people standing within 10 feet of it and one time it flew over my head so low I could feel the air beneath its wings. Having it fly so close to me left me feeling amazed but concerned. I recall hoping that the yearling eagle became more wary about people because not everyone has ethics and I worried it might allow someone too close who might harm it. I know that some people are terrible with wildlife.

Many raptors do not survive their first year due to inexperience in their hunting skills, harsh weather and the dangers of migration. I wonder if this Bald Eagle survived that first year. And the second.

Perched juvenile Bald EaglePerched juvenile Bald Eagle – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 200mm, natural light, not baited

I also wonder where was this eagle came from, where was its natal nest. Was it as far away as Alaska? The Yukon Territory? As close as the Centennial Valley of Montana? Or from one of the Bald Eagle nests located here in Utah?

Does it still come to Farmington Bay WMA every winter? If so did it survive the outbreak of West Nile Virus of last winter that killed scores of Bald Eagles?

One thing I don’t wonder about is what this Bald Eagle would look like now, it should look very much like this four year old Bald Eagle that I photographed at Farmington Bay in 2009.

I probably will always wonder… where is this gorgeous bird today.

Life is good.



  1. Jolanta November 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I love Bald Eagles! Young eagles are curious and sometimes overcome great distances but very often coming back to the place of birth. Thanks for beautiful pictures 🙂

  2. SkyHawker4 November 29, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I believe he picked up your wondrous Spirit and is just fine!

  3. Dave Sparks November 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    And learning some of the answers when you happen to photograph a banded bird just seems to make you wonder even more about the birds that aren’t banded. Is that ice below the bird in the second photo?

  4. Elephant's Child November 28, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I too wonder. And hope.

  5. Lois Bryan November 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Aww bless him … he’s such a beauty. I know what you mean about wondering …

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