Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle (10/23/13).

Okay, Okay, it is a bit far away. But, the eagle was quite high and the lens out at full zoom. It’s the best I could do with what I had at hand.

An enlargement of a different shot of the eagle (10/23/13).

I know, I know, Bald Eagles are supposed to have a white head and tail. You’re right, adult eagles do. But, it can take about four years to acquire those features, the white head and tail. This eagle, the eagle in the photos, is only about two years old.

We don’t see many of these birds here at the Museum, but they’re not rare in these parts. We here in Durham live between two large reservoirs, Falls Lake to the northeast, and Jordan Lake to the southwest. Bald Eagles can be found at both lakes all year long. They both nest and winter at those lakes. I’ve had ten eagles within the same field of view at once at Jordan Lake in winter, of various ages. So, if you want to see eagles, they’re not far away. You have your choice of two lakes at which to see them (you might run into one at Lake Crabtree too).

With eagles nesting and wintering nearby, it’s no wonder that we occasionally see them fly over our airspace. However, there are a couple of very important requirements to seeing eagles here at the Museum, you have to be outside and you have to be looking up when they fly over.

Your best chances of seeing one here are in the spring or fall.

Here, the eagle breaks into a glide and heads off to the southwest (10/23/13).

I happen to be outside everyday, when I’m not looking down, I’m looking up. And on chill, windy days in the fall, I look up often.

Till next time…

4 responses to Bald Eagle

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Great, that’s a good location to see eagles, but don’t forget to keep your eyes on the road!!

  1. Wendy says:

    I saw a really huge bird way down in my apple orchard a couple weeks ago, presumably inspecting a snake carcass (I had recently run over a beautiful black snake in that area with my riding mower, to my deep regret.) Did not look like a hawk or turkey or turkey vulture, or heron – could it have been an eagle? It had an amazing wingspan!

    • Greg Dodge says:

      From your description it’d be difficult to determine what the bird was. I would immediately suggest Turkey or Black Vulture given your statement of having run over a snake in the area where the bird was seen. They are both large birds.
      I suggest to anyone seeing an unusual or unidentified bird or animal to take notes on what it is that they saw.
      What color is it?
      How big is it? You mentioned that the bird was huge. That says a lot. But, size is difficult to judge unless there is something of a known size next to the object in question.
      Is there anything unusual about it’s proportions? Does the head look proportionately small or large? Is the head a different color than the body?
      If it’s a bird, does it have markings on the wings, tail, back or breast?
      If possible draw a sketch of the bird or animal.
      Does it have any “standout” coloring or characteristics. A gray fox is gray and reddish in color. A red fox can be reddish or gray. However, the red fox always has a white tipped tail.
      So, whenever you or anyone out there sees something whose identity they’re not sure about, take as many notes as you can and sketch the creature if possible, including any unusual characteristics that you can remember.
      And yes, it is possible that the bird you saw was an eagle. Anything is possible.
      Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture and Bald Eagle all approximate one another in color. The former is the smaller of the three, the latter the largest.

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