bald eagle

Young Bald Eagle

In Photography, travel-photography by Bob Wild

Who said:
Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.Arthur Schopenhauer

Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle Vancouver Island

Bald Eagle Vancouver Island

 Living life on the island is great! Eagles! Eagles! Everywhere! The truth is, I really didn’t know a lot about bald eagles until I came to Vancouver Island. Did you know they are not born with white feathers on their heads and tails? It’s not until they reach sexual maturity, which takes four to five years. Another fact, I didn’t realize. They only live in North America. Really!? I thought they lived throughout North, Central and South America. Now fish is their main diet, but sometimes you catch the little rascal stealing, eating the neighbour’s cat. Yup! When I first came to the island in 2014, the local newspaper was running an article about one of the residences had witnessed her cat cornered in the backyard by a young bald eagle. It was about to make a meal out of it. The article ended with the local resident stating that she never lets the cat outside by itself. Gee! I wonder why. 🙂 Now I know what you’re thinking. He’s shooting with a 500 or 600MM lens. Using a 2 times teleconverter and spent thousands of dollars in camera gear. NOPE! Not true! Some of the images in my portfolio were taken with my trusty 70-200mm. Once a young bald eagle sat so still, for so long, I felt I should have had him sign a model release form or at very least, I should have left him a treat. Dead fish anyone? The image I call “Prepare for Flight” was taken at 70mm. I was attempting to make the little fella fly. I started from the far side of the boat ramp at 200mm, taking a picture every couple of steps as I worked my way towards him. He was eyeing me but didn’t seem to care. Once I was close enough to capture the image at 70M, now being only a few feet away I thought I had him. He crouched preparing to fly. He leaps! I’m ready with the camera! Well to my disappointment, he hopped about 5ft and took a position on another log. AH!! I guess I’m just not that scary of a person.

Bald eagle launching Vancouver island

Take off

Now I guess I should mention. On Vancouver Island, every second person owns a boat or knows somebody with a boat. Eagles hang around the wharf. They sit and wait for the fishermen to return with their catch. I, ‘not’ being a fisherman, can only presume that they clean the fish and dump the extremities in the water. It then becomes easy pickings for the eagles. As for being a solitude bird! I have seen 10 plus eagle playing on the beach at low tide.

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