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Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Description:

This magnificent raptor starts out mainly brown as a fledgling but gets its white head and tail in about 4 years. Male and female are similar in colors but the female is usually larger. In the photo, the bird on the left is probably in its third year.

Habitat:

These birds can be seen almost anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. They build the largest stick nests of all raptors; the nest can weigh up to 2 tons.

Notes:

I was photographing the younger bird (left side of pic) perched on a snag and facing toward the left of the picture. The perch is probably about 80 feet high. As I had my eye to the viewfinder, taking shots, the perched bird suddenly looked agitated or interested in something it could see, but I couldn't, due to tree foliage to my left. It even spread its wings right there on the perch when suddenly the mature eagle flies in from the left, which I couldn't see until it got into my frame. It happened so fast that I really don't know whether the younger bird was knocked off the perch or, it voluntarily took flight. But by the time this frame was shot (one of a bunch of burst frames), the mature bird ended up on the right clutching talons with the immature bird. I don't believe the birds are fighting--instead, this is a probably a version of the sky dances Bald Eagles do quite often. http://dennisdavenportphotography.com/ This image won 3rd place in the Ridgefield NWR 2011 Photo Contest and 1st place in the Adoramapix.com Your Best Shot of 2011 Photo Contest.

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19 Comments

Arya
Arya 6 years ago

Consider adding these beautiful birds to http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/6818...

Congratulations, well deserved. Fantastic photography.
A super camera and lenses, besides tons of talent.

CarolSnowMilne
CarolSnowMilne 6 years ago

Fantastic photo!

Amazing !

KarenL
KarenL 6 years ago

Wonderful capture Dennis!

emanuelgoyco
emanuelgoyco 6 years ago

epic battle!

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 6 years ago

Great capture and amazing story!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 6 years ago

I agree with Ashish! I have seen this before where a mature eagle will knock a juvi off the perch that they would like to perch on! Such a beautiful image!

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 7 years ago

Territory dispute..?

Dennis Davenport
Dennis Davenport 7 years ago

Thank you, Brandon!

BrandonBlount
BrandonBlount 7 years ago

Excellent photo! Congratulations on the contest wins as well! Very well deserved!

Dennis Davenport
Dennis Davenport 7 years ago

Thank you all for the nice comments!

DoinaRussu
DoinaRussu 8 years ago

magnificent scene! all my appreciation, Dennis!

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 8 years ago

The story and its telling are as wonderful as the photo itself!! I wonder if this is a previous year nestling of the mature eagle? After this years chicks have fledged or if there is a chickless year, the adults seem tolerant of young birds which I suspect are their own.

IanMichaelIleto
IanMichaelIleto 8 years ago

Congratulations on an amazing capture!

Wild Things
Wild Things 8 years ago

Lovely capture.

Hema
Hema 8 years ago

What a feeling to capture something like this!

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 8 years ago

Great shot and story!

Dennis Davenport
Spotted by
Dennis Davenport

Washington, USA

Lat: 45.80, Long: -122.76

Spotted on Feb 1, 2011
Submitted on Sep 13, 2011

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