Carolina Wild Photo (the blog)

Bald Eagles at Conowingo Dam, Maryland

by on Nov.20, 2015, under Locations

Finally, it’s cooler weather and time for the migrations. I headed out to Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey for Eagles, ducks and shorebirds this week, but there wasn’t that much yet to photograph. I guess it’s still just a bit early. Despite that, I managed a few interesting photos, though not as good as I was hoping for.
bald eagle with fish

At Conowingo Dam on the Susquahana River in Maryland the eagles were keeping to the middle and far side of the river, making them a bit too far away for good images of their fishing runs. Occasionally they would fly closer after a catch, like the photo at right, giving a better view. It seemed on this trip I was finally getting better at acquiring the birds in the viewfinder and tracking them. I’ve learned to acquire the birds early while they’re circling and looking, instead of waiting until it’s obvious it’s on a run. Practice, practice, practice.

bald eagle stealing fish
Their antics and aerial acrobatic skills are amazing. Watching them fight over a catch is always fun and interesting. In this series of three images you see the lower eagle caught a fish, but made the mistake of carrying it by one foot, with it dangling down. The upper eagle flew in from behind and grabbed the fish with both feet, giving it the advantage. Consequently, that flipped the lower eagle upside down, hanging on to the fish by one foot while the upper eagle carried both the fish and other eagle along.
bald eagle stealing fish
In the third photo below the lower eagle spread both wings in an effort to put on his “air brakes” and foil the theft, but the upper eagle kept flying away carrying both the fish and the other eagle, and eventually the theft was a success. The eagle dangling upside down finally relented and let go of his lost catch. Usually the eagles just drop their fish when other eagles try to steal them, but it seemed this particular eagle was intent on hanging onto his fish, no matter what. This is the first time I’ve witnessed such dogged persistence in hanging onto a catch.
bald eagle stealing fish

I hope to make another trip in a week or two, weather permitting, with the hope there will be more eagles and more action closer to me. Perhaps I can bring home more photos like this last one, or even better.bald eagle with fish

Comments are closed.