Growing up in Savannah, GA it was always a big deal if you saw a bald eagle. Sightings were rare and nests were a show stopper for any kind of construction project nearby. Now I am in the land of eagles, Alaska, where I sometimes see thirty or forty bald eagles at a time. Yet they still hold that same place in my heart. I stop what I do them and watch with awe and understand perfectly why they were chosen as our national symbol. The give off such a regal nature while mastering their role as the top bird-of-prey.
So instead of getting tired of seeing eagles I work on seeing more of them and learning more about them by watching and photographing them here in Alaska. Outside of Homer, Heidi and I found the perfect location for an eagle photo shoot. With nearly 20 adults and juveniles lining the beach we casually walked up and down taking pictures as we went. Different shorebirds and ocean birds were bobbing in the waves just offshore but while Heidi was trying to identify those I was concentrating on the eagles just behind us.
Time after time the eagles would take flight and soar down the beach, flying right by us. The dark clouds back towards Homer provided a wonderful backdrop for the white feathers giving these eagles their 'bald' name. It was an experience I won't soon forget and one that made me realize that bird photography isn't always about who has the bigger lens, but who has the time to put in to one species, the patience and timing to capture the critical moments, and the luck to be there at the right time.
|A juvenile eagle takes flight|