Bald Eagling in Homer, Alaska

Bald Eagle on DriftwoodMy friend and I drove into Homer, Alaska one evening in April of 2006.  Our trip was fortunately timed – though not purposely – because we caught the eagles still in town.  They were reaping the benefits of friendly human feeders before leaving for summer’s greener pastures.

Bald Eage on a Street LightAs we drove down onto the Homer Spit eagles were perched on nearly every building.  The sun’s long evening rays set them off and they were so still that we asked each other, are they real??  But as we drove down the spit to the Land’s End Hotel, we saw enough of them shuffle their feathers or blink their eyes to know they were totally and gorgeously real.

If I had only thought to take a photo… (Though at that time I used a plain point and shoot which would not have done justice to the moment.)

Over the next couple of days I took plenty of time to walk the beaches and absorb the feelings of a place that was (and still is) pretty much totally foreign to me.  As a landlubber in Alaska I see plenty of wildlife, but usually not the same wildlife as near the coasts.

Bald Eagles, Gulls & Crows

This was a common sight on the beaches, people leaving fish guts and carcases out for the eagles.  Gulls and crows benefit too.

Bald Eagles in Homer, AlaskaI never saw an eagle growing up (bald or not!) until about 10 years ago.  Now I see them at least a couple of times a year in and around Fairbanks.  It could be that as a child or young adult I wasn’t paying attention, but I’d be willing to bet that their population has grownImmature Bald Eagle in Homer, Alaska throughout Alaska over the last couple of decades as it has generally in North America.

On the right you can see the mottled feather pattern of a 2 or 3 year old eagle.  It takes 4 years for an eagle to get its adult plumage and wing length.

Valdez has quite a few bald eagles too, but I’ve never seen this many at a time anywhere but Homer.  (Some day I’ll make it to Haines too for the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival and the Chilkat Preserve.)  If you’re a bald eagle fan all three of these places should be on your list!

Bald Eagle sitting on a nestPeople watching bald eaglesBald Eagle Talon Prints

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3 responses

  1. I’ve never seen so many in one picture. Great shot.

    March 10, 2013 at 11:22 am

  2. Ernie

    I wanted to contact you because of your fantastic photo you posted on the Second. I work with Birdfeeders.com also known as Perky-Pet, they have me searching the internet far and wide for the best birders, and the photography to prove it. I wanted to let you know that we’d like to award you for the efforts we’ve seen, with our new ‘Eye in the Sky’ badge. You simply post the badge on your site, and when we have a few more participants we’ll be building a page to honor you all.

    Let me know what you think and I’d be happy to send over the code for the badge.

    Best regards,
    Ernie

    August 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    • Sure, thank you Ernie, go ahead and send it!

      September 3, 2013 at 2:54 am

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