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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.
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.
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.
Lat: 45.80, Long: -122.76
Spotted on Feb 1, 2011
Submitted on Sep 13, 2011
and 29 other people favorited this spotting