Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Since mid spring, I’ve been watching a successful Bald Eagle nest not much more than a stone’s throw from where we live here on the peninsula south of Bath. The nest is some 40 feet off the ground and it’s impossible to see inside. I knew there were chicks in the nest, because the adults brought food on a regular basis, and I could hear the chicks calling when the adults were not around.

While taking a break from my studies this weekend, I finally got to see the young, pre-flight Bald Eagles. Just before sunrise Saturday morning, I set up my tripod and camera and waited. I could see wings flapping in the nest, and I heard a few calls, but nothing worth photographing. Finally, after an hour or so wait, one of the juvies hopped out of the nest onto a branch. Lovingly named Butchie and his other brother Butchie by Robin Robinson over at The Back Story – My Controlled Chaos, I expect them to take their first flight any day now. Many thanks Robin, for giving me the heads up on the nest! I can only hope I will be nearby when they take their first flight.

The young Eagles were very cooperative for nearly an hour. I filled a 16gb CF card with many photos and videos of the pair; capturing preening, head and chin scratching, yawning and several wing stretches. While I enjoyed the Eagles, plenty of other birds were on the move. Cedar Waxwings and Red-winged Blackbirds were everywhere, the forest floor seemed alive with Chipping Sparrows, and I caught a brief glimpse of a Black-crowned Night Heron in flight. All and all, it was a great morning to enjoy Mother Nature!

Some of the following images are tall. Tap your f11 key to open your browser to its fullest size before viewing. Simply click a thumbnail for a full-sized view.

Dimension: 560×480 | Video bit rate: 1000Kbps | File Size: 24.6mb
Playback: Click Play Button | Broadband Connection Recommended
Video: Juvenile Bald Eagles | ©2010 John Briggs Photography
Watch in full-sized HD at YouTube by clicking video screen after playback begins.

Happy birding!



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