Not to be outdone by some cute little seal, these Hudson River Valley eagles primped and got ready for their close-up. Our friend Michael K. waited in his kayak, Nikon D7000 in hand. Here, he describes his recent autumn photoshoot on the Hudson River, a tad north of Coxsackie, NY. 🙂
MK: This robust eagle is the mother of two youngsters (now grown) that hatched on Rattlesnake Island. I suspect the parents have a molt after sending the chicks away. Mom was busy combing her dorsal feathers, her beak passing through the plumage like a plowshare. At times, it looked like her head was on backwards!
MK: During the year, feathers take a beating. But now, many eagles may sport all twelve tail feathers—beautiful wide fans. Another eagle took off and headed away from me, displaying a complete fan of tail feathers.
MK: The bird looped back 180 degrees and came straight at me, as if suddenly realizing the importance of making a good showing at a photo op. I can only hope that more eagles catch on!
Did you notice the bands on these eagles’ legs? (Kuno, our parrot, has one, too, but for different reasons!) Michael says that many bald eagles are banded, including the pair he follows at Stockport Middle Ground. The DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) has been doing it for years as part of their Bald Eagle Program. They even attach radio transmitters!
Read about this fascinating program and the fine folks at DEC. And thank them for the 170+ pairs of eagles that nest today in New York State—up from one (one in the whole state!) in 1960.