Bald Eagle First Flight

After having had the opportunity to witness the flight practice, I decided to go back the next day (July 22, 2011) to the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest. When I arrived at the nest, there was one juvenile in the nest and another one on a branch nearby. No sign of the third. I thought I heard a juvenile call from the forest east of the nest, but I am not sure.


So, I continued up the trail hoping for some action. There were some pelicans and some hawks on the other side. Eventually, an adult Bald Eagle flew in at high altitude and was harassed by the hawks.


Then (ESP?) I looked upstream and there was this low-flying Bald Eagle juvenile coming my way. It flew just about right over me (top photo). WOW. What a sight.


She (I think it's a she because of the position of the eyesocket relative to the jaw hinge and the eye ridge) flew very confidently. Not high, not fast, no circles, but very confidently. She made several passes including flying to the other side of the river and landing at the top of a tree. The hawks were screeching about and the Bald Eagle left after five minutes or so. She did not seem to be bothered by the hawks "I'm an eagle. You're hawks". But maybe the noise got to her. Even at that distance, the size difference was readily noticeable. I did get some more pictures and then she flew further inland.


The adults were perched on trees about 200-300 m downstream from my position and three or four times one of them flew over and made a brief excursion in the direction in which the juvenile had disappeared. To check things out, I suppose.


At some time, a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) flew out, quite low, from the direction in which the juvenile Bald Eagle had disappeared. Whether it was one of the harassing hawks, I don't know.


I did go back to the nest at some time, just to check it out. Still two juveniles there, so only one flying around at that time.


  • Tall Bob 4y

    Incredible bird images and photography!!

    We are honored to have your
    photo added to our group!
    H & G ~Spectacular Birds~ Only invite

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  • Mel James Photography 4y

    Great set roger
  • Carol Foil 4y

    Please remove the red-tailed hawk tags for Field Guide.
  • Charles McDonald 4y

    Excellent. Thanks for the update.. I was wondering about those birds.
  • Maureen Sullivan 4y

    Another incredible set, Roger! Thanks for the update; it's so exciting :)
  • Dale Scott 4y

    Outstanding Roger, I'm going to check them out today after work if the weather holds up.
  • Bart Hardorff 4y

    Stunning capture!
  • the_green_squirrel 4y

    fantastic series of shots! really love the photo of the adult bald eagle, very majestic.
  • itchhhh 4y

    I love to photograph "Juvi"s. I like when the late afternoon sun hits their feathers, the color is just spectacular. I find in interesting how the young ones are bigger than the adults. Its also fun to watch the adults school their young when it come to hunting. The adults have no shame in stealing from the younglings in mid flight LOL!
  • Robert van Essen 4y

    Great series Roger.
  • labels_30 4y

    Another fantastic series Roger, hard to believe they are flying already.
  • Roger P. Kirchen 4y

    Thanks all for your appreciation. This was a rewarding photo trip.
  • Roger P. Kirchen 4y

    Dale Scott Raymond Lee Photography I was hoping to get out there yesterday too. However, something else came up. Same today. I only had time to go to the trail head. Hopefully, I will have time tomorrow.
  • Don Delaney 4y

    Beautiful shots Roger - well done!
  • Bonnie Grzesiak 4y

    Thank you for sharing!!
    Your amazing image was seen in:

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  • Glenn R Parker 4y

    Another well capture series!
  • I G 4y

    Thank you for sharing!!
    Your amazing image was seen in:

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  • I G 4y

    * Please add this AWESOME photo to our group
    * AWESOME BIRDS ! (Post 1 - Comment 2) We'd love to have you with us.
    * Thanks for sharing!
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  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology 4y

    This photo appears on All About Birds, a free online bird guide from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Thank you for Birdsharing, and for helping people learn about birds.
  • Still Light Photographics 3y

    Outstanding shot Roger. It's encouraging to see that patience and skill are always rewarded.
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Taken on July 21, 2011
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