Bald Eagle & Friends in the Community

The eagle’s eyes flashed, and in a heartbeat it was straining, wings spread wide and pumping, aiming straight at the lens of my camera and me! So fierce, so majestic, so close…

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bald eagle about to take off.

…and so securely tethered to its handler.

This week, Cheri and WordPress have asked us to show community, and so the photos here are from a community program hosted at the Nature Center by the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. The speaker that day brought an exhibit of live birds from his raptor rescue center. (I’ll update the post with his website and contact details as soon as I receive them. Although I had snail-mailed photo enlargements to them, I don’t have a URL, unfortunately.)

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

For privacy reasons, photos of the children aren’t shown in this post, but as the presence of the school bus affirms, the crowd had many children, who listened raptly and were delighted by the raptors on display. I’ll update you with the web link for the rescue center as soon as I receive it.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Giving the crowd an up-close and personal view of the turkey vulture.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

This photo gives a good look at how large the bald eagle is relative to the size of man. Each of the wooden crates in tbe background contains another raptor to be shown to the crowd: Red Tailed Hawk, Saw-whet Owl, Turkey Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel and more. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons are bred and then raised from egg to release in the wild at the rescue center.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Some of the rescued birds are too damaged to be returned to the wild, such as this owl.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Northern saw-whet owl.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Kestrel

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Turkey vulture

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Peregrine falcon.

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Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Community prompt. She asked for photos that speak to the topic of “community.” This Nature Center program is one of an ongoing series hosted at the lake for our community.

Thanks to Ailsa for her Weekly Travel Theme: Symbol prompt. The Bald Eagle is the symbol of the US. This was the closest I have ever been to an eagle, just about five feet away. The eagle looked majestic and fierce.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

(These photos were taken July 27, 2007.)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bald Eagle, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon

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Posted on December 15, 2013, in Art, Bald eagle, Birds, Nature, Photo Essay, Photography, postaday, raptor rehabilitation, Weekly Photo Challenge, Weekly Travel Themes, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Excellent idea for a response Babsje! We have a wonderful Birds of Prey sanctuary nearby my home and I love shooting up there. They do great work, don’t they!

  2. amazing!oh it is the time of year we head down to the Mississippi and Rock Rivers to check out the eagles hanging out. It is something my husband and I do every winter. We head down and watch them feeding they are so beautiful. We both enjoy taking pictures of htem since they are all over the place!Today as we crossed the bridge I saw at least 30+ and they are all over in different areas….need to get down there!

    • 30+ bald eagles in one single sighting? That is amazing, heavenly. You are so forttunate to live near that sort of natural world. They are very rare here – which is good for the great blue herons since eagles are one of their few natural predators. I saw one adult 2 different times this summer at the lake, no photos though. Other people have reliably reported seeing a juvenile this summer as well. Robbie, do get out there again with a camera – even a camera in a phone would work!

      • Oh we will;-)This is something we do every winter, but last winter we did not get out as much. When they feed around 2pm there are a lot of us out there taking photos. They are so beautiful and when you see a tree loaded with young ones and old ones( wise white heads-lol) you just stand in awe! You bet I will and I have a few places we wander to that are a bit more remote, but mostly they are use to us all swarming to stand and watch them feed:-) I had no idea the heron was in danger around them. T hey do leave the area once the ice thaws, so it is only in the winter they stay here which is good since the herons + egrets are then along the river all summer.

        • It’s neat that you know them well enough to know their feeding schedule! Love the “wise white heads” remark. I’m looking forward to some day seeing you post eagle photos on your blog. Yes, eagles are known to attack herons, so as you say, it’s good that yours leave when the ice melts and the herons and egrets can have the area in the summer. Here’s a story from Seattle about eagles vs herons: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2011454352_eagleheron27m.html

          • That is awful! We have a lot of flooding here, but I have never paid attention. Now you have me “aware” and as I frequent the river riding when it warms up and starts thawing I plan on watching to see how the are doing. I don’t see the heron during the time the Eager are present. As soon as they leave I notice the egrets ( there was a large group, and herons tend to hang alone along the river) + heron come out. Do you think they stay here year round Quad Cities?

            • I suspect the eagles move north as the weather warms, setting the stage for your herons and egrets. Even as far north as I am, some great blue herons winter over, but many migrate farther south or closer to the Atlantic coastline. Your observations are good ones: the herons are indeed solitary fishers. Let me know what you see next time you venture there. Thanks!

  3. The bald eagle is just magnificent – nobody will convince me they are not just as smart as we are (well, me anyway 🙂 )

    • I do believe you’re right – they are very intelligent, and magnificent! They’re rare here, and so I was also surprised by how very tall they are. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  4. Such beautiful birds and photos 🙂

  5. A great serie With many details to study closer!
    Well done!

  6. What a great time to see all these lovely birds! We’re quite limited in large birds here in New Zealand so they are a treat.

    • I’m very pleased to hear that you like them, thanks for your kind comment, Betty. I was a bit hesitant about posting in Wild Bird Wednesday, since they’re temporarily not actually wild, but your comment makes me glad to have posted!

  7. Hi. Wonderful to see these birds. Close up. brilliant.

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