It’s that time of year again when the Bald Eagles come down from Alaska and Canada to feed on the spawning salmon on the Skagit River.
I have to tell you folks, I did not take any of the pictures on this post. I’ve tried with my little point-and-shoot camera and I’m so far away all I get are unrecognizable blobs. So my friend Dan DuVarney let me post some of his eagle pictures – the one above and several below are his. He also has a point-and-shoot camera, but somehow he got a LOT closer and better pictures than I ever have. Good job Danny!
This is an action shot of the eagle with the fish in his talons that neither Danny or I took.
This is one of those pictures that professional photographers take who have cameras that look like this:
Which brings me to these people. I have discovered that where you have eagles you also have eagle watchers. The best place to view the eagles is from the river, so we have a couple of local companies that offer eagle watching raft trips. I think that would be a really fun trip to take on a warm, dry day.
The other way to view the eagles is from the bank of the river, not far from where the road is. The road that those of us who live here have to drive down to get to the grocery store, gas station, post office, etc. The road they are often parked in the middle of (especially around blind corners) or better yet, standing in the middle of with only their 9 foot telephoto lens to protect them from oncoming traffic.
Now in fairness to eagle watchers everywhere I must disclose that 1. I know these guys above are not eagle watchers from around here because they don’t have on the right gear and 2. I’m sure not ALL eagle watchers block traffic and are hazards on the highway. It’s only some of them, but they are the ones I always seem to run into, though thankfully none literally – yet. My all-time favorite was the guy (you just knew it was going to be a man didn’t you??) who was parked with the front tire of his car approximately 6 inches off the pavement and the rest of his car blocking the entire lane of our little two lane road. To warn other motorists of this obstruction, he had most generously set an orange traffic cone touching the left rear bumper of his vehicle – as if this would somehow make it possible for someone to see him around the blind corner in time to avoid smashing into him. They do amaze me every year.
Anyway, back to the eagles. They are a huge, majestic bird and it is a really awesome sight to see them soaring above the ranch skies. Just so you know, our dog Grizzly thinks it is his duty to chase them and he does so very diligently every time he sees one gliding overhead. Now, there is absolutely no way the eagle has probably even noticed Grizzly, much less paid any attention to him running and barking far below, but that doesn’t stop Grizz. He chases them every time; he takes that task very seriously.
This time of year the leaves have all fallen off the deciduous trees and the eagles can usually be found perched on cottonwood trees scanning the river for salmon. Danny took these pictures of a mature bird – you can tell because of the white head – posing on a branch.
This picture is also of an eagle in the Skagit River Valley, but they had the big time photo equipment.
I am amazed at how close Danny was able to get to take these shots. The eagles are usually much more elusive.
Or maybe this guy just likes to have his picture taken and decided to post for him?