Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Eagles on Ice

It was an absolutely beautiful morning – clear as a bell, bright blue sky with nary a cloud, cool bordering on cold. It was also a great day to do something H and I have done often over the many years that we’ve been together: take a long ride through pretty country.

It wasn’t long before H spotted an adult bald eagle perched in a white pine; I never saw the bird and could neither stop nor turn around to take a look. Some time later we visited a property where I’d occasionally worked in recent years, a property with large old trees, abundant wildflowers in spring and beautiful stone walls.

The beauty of the day prompted us to visit a large Corps of Engineers lake to see what we could see. The lake was almost completely covered with ice with just a few areas of open water. In the water was a flock of Canada geese and on the ice was a group of ring-billed gulls.

We drove to a spot where we could see more of the lake – out on the ice was a juvenile bald eagle feeding on fish frozen in the ice and being harassed by a band of common crows –

I was busy looking through the camera’s viewfinder and taking photos when H said “Here comes another eagle!”

That was the beginning of a squabble over the fish scraps between the two young eagles –

One prevailed and enjoyed a few pieces of fish –

Until an another bird (a three year old) flew in and took over –

The birds kept looking up and we did likewise to see three more bald eagles coming in –

The after a while the crows left, a bit later the eagles flew further out from shore. One of the eagles that had come late to the party was a four year old bird which the youngsters followed to another frozen fish –

The blue sky reflecting off the ice gave it a blue cast and the heat from the sun caused a heat shimmer that made photography at long distances problematic; the shimmer can be seen in the video.

While the ice easily supported the eagles, it wouldn’t support little ole me and, despite it being a beautiful day and wanting to get closer, I decided a polar plunge was not in the cards so the photos and video were taken from shore and at quite a distance.


Marcia said...

It was a popular day for all those eagles to gather at one fish.

The Furry Gnome said...

You were there just at the right time! Fascinating to witness that eagle battle!

eileeninmd said...

Awesome series on the Bald Eagles. What a great sight to see, the interaction between the Eagles. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a wonderful weekend.