4 Bald Eagles

This gallery contains 4 photos. I wanted to have a closeup of this fully mature Bald Eagle roosting at the top a dead birch tree on the Raptor Trail portion of Boundary Bay Regional Park … but it decided, at 30 feet away, that it was time to go. This was the most dramatic part of its takeoff. Photographed on April 15.

Bald Eagleflight of the Bald Eagle, taken on an overcast day at Boundary Bay Regional Park.
f/8, 1/500, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 100

A Bald Eagle (perhaps a third or very early fourth year) sits on a power line on a low traffic road. Taken on our way through Ladner, where we encountered at least 30 Bald Eagles within a 3 mile radius (three trees held at least 5-7 eagles each)! Photographed on January 28.

Bald Eaglea bird on a wire in Ladner calmly regards me from 20 feet off the ground.
f/6.3, 1/500, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 100

You can see just how young this Bald Eagle is (perhaps a second year) — the beak is still dark, and there is a distinct lack of white feathers on its head. This magnificent creature was drawing a small crowd of admirers at Boundary Bay Regional Park, near the pump house outflow. Still some 25-30 feet away from my lens, this juvenile was content to stand in the shallow water for quite some time, while around it slowly gathered Glaucous-Winged Gulls, Mew Gulls, and Green-Winged Teal ducks, going about their business as if a fierce predator wasn’t in their midst. Photographed on Feb 28 a very sunny and busy day at the beach.

Bald Eaglea sub-adult draws the crowds near the pumphouse at Beach Grove/Boundary Bay Regional Park.
f/8, 1/1600, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 400

A first-year Bald Eagle sits in a tree no more than 15 feet above our heads. It has not yet learned that its personal space should be much, much more than that (which is good news for the admiring crowd of humans below it), and sat there for at least an hour–ignoring the other, much smaller birds that chirped and flew around Elgin Heritage Park. The beak–which is predominantly black–and the very brown head–with white stippling the ends of its head and neck feathers–are indicators of just how young this fledged Bald Eagle is. Photographed on February 15.

Bald Eaglea juvie sits no more than 15 feet above our heads in a tree at Surrey’s Elgin Heritage Park
f/9, 1/250, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 400

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43 thoughts on “4 Bald Eagles

    • so true, Eliza. unfortunately, not all humans can be trusted to respect wildlife. 😦

      I have to remind myself that although it may be frustrating when they do scatter, it’s nothing personal. flight or fight can be the difference between life and death.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have seen them sitting on the ice floes in winter when the tides are really low (they are so far out that they are postage stamp sized blips), but never before so near and sitting in shallow waters!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your photos are like chocolate for my soul! What magnificent shots. Such detail! I especially love the one flying and the one in the water! Wow!
    Um, technical question – your 150-500mm lense – is it one of those really wide ones? I have one that goes to 300mm and it just isn’t enough. My husband’s point and shoot does a better zoom job. Do you always use a tripod? They seem so big and heavy!


    • hello there!

      my 150-500mm lens is a long telephoto lens (it has a long focal length; that is, it extends far out from the camera body, and will get you plenty of looks and comments from other people); they’re generally for wildlife photography, as our subjects (birds, bears, deer, etc.) are often far away. 500mm, 600mm, 800mm, 1000mm, and 1500mm lenses are considered super long telephoto lenses (in fact, they they look like telescopes) and can be quite heavy (my long lens is 4 lbs but some can weigh up to 25 lbs). tripods are highly recommended, even with optical image stabilization, because it is not easy to shoot (particularly moving objects like a flock of birds in flight) with a steady hand.

      I don’t use the tripod, as a rule, unless I’m reasonably sure my subject will not move (e.g. when I’m shooting the full moon on a clear night), because a tripod can add another 5-7 more lbs; it’s extra weight to carry around and/or assemble. with my telephoto lens (~ 4 lbs) and my camera body (~ 2 lbs), adding a tripod can make the weight go up to 13 lbs or higher — and I may carry other camera accessories around.

      wide angle lenses (14mm, 24mm, 35mm, etc. — short focal lengths) are short lenses (that is, they don’t extend far out from the camera body) for shooting landscapes (and even portraits of people) where you want to capture a lot of image in the frame.

      your husband’s point-and-shoot camera sounds like one of the super zoom variety. point-and-shoots, as a rule, are compact models with non-interchangeable lenses; you can’t swap the (built-in lens) for another lens, like you can with a DSLR camera like the Canon EOS 6D or Nikon D810 (so you’re stuck with the “factory” focal length). but, with super zooms like the Nikon Coolpix P900 you have a 83X zoom lens, which is roughly equivalent to 24-2000mm. you also have massive depth of field (that is, everything from foreground to midground and background — are sharp).

      but because the image sensors on point-and-shoots are MUCH smaller than those on DSLR cameras (typically 1.75mm vs 35mm), the quality of images taken with a full frame DSLR cameras will be significantly better. smaller image sensors, however, mean that super zooms are much more compact, weigh less, and easier on the pocketbook.

      see this link for more information on wide angle lenses:

      hope this helps! cheers,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, thanks a lot! I have a Nikon D330. I have a wide angle that it came with, a macro and a 100 – 300mm zoom. I just want more zoom for wildlife. I have opportunity to see a lot of wildlife I want to shoot, but a bit too far away. I just need to weigh (haha pun) the advantage of bigger zoom with how heavy it is. Holding it steady is a challenge for me anyway. Thank again!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe young, but still impressively regal. Your photos provide us with something we would never see on our own, so thank you! We have a bald eagle nesting area not to far from here on Jordan Lake. It’s protected.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic shots! The adult looks so dramatic and mighty, but the younger ones look much more friendly 🙂 I’ve never been able to get this close to Bald Eagles, only seen them in flight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice pictures for sure. Eagles come out of nowhere as do hawks so I never get pictures. They do congregate in the Annapolis valley, NS in the winter and are fed there with chicken scraps I believe. Always cool to see them floating above. The crows don’t like it though and will chase them away. I often notice them on the side of the road due to the white patch or flight style. Young gulls are also darkish I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • the crows definitely harass the Bald Eagles here, and some of the smaller birds will do that as well if they have a nest to protect — I have seen a Rufous hummingbird (successfully) harass a Bald Eagle this summer! 🙂


Your comments are like chocolate for my soul ... I can never get enough of them! Bonus brownie points for witty comments! I love a good turn of phrase. :)

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