On my last trip to Theler Wetlands I was trying to find the Sora, hoping to get a better picture than the last one because the light was so much better, when I heard two women yelling and pointing. When I looked out on the field behind me where they seemed to be pointing, I saw a Bald Eagle sitting on the ground,
much too far away to get a decent shot. However, I figured it would be worthwhile to go over there as quickly as possible. When I got closer, I realized there were actually two Bald Eagles in the field, not one.
Strangely, they didn’t seem particularly concerned about my approach, remaining on the ground until I got much closer,
closer than I’ve ever gotten to a wild Bald Eagle before.
At that point the closest one decided it was time to take off,Eagle2.jpg
allowing me to get a much better shot than the one of it sitting on the ground.
The other eagle sat glaring
back at the two women, who continued to yell loudly.
As I approached camera in hand, it took off and circled so close to me
that I couldn’t quite manage to keep it in the frame.
Only afterwards did I learn that the two women were trying to scare the eagles away because they were chasing the Mallard ducklings. I thought about telling the ladies that the mother duck lost nearly two thirds of her hatch every year. If the eagles didn’t get them the otter or dozens of other predators that roamed these wetlands in the evening surely would. I was shocked that the Mallard had even attempted to raise ducklings here this year because the pond was drained when the dike broke several months ago.
I ended up not saying a word, though, because it was impossible to deny their good intentions. Besides, if it hadn’t have been for their gestures I would have missed some great shots of Bald Eagles(Of course, it would have been an even more amazing shot if I’d managed to get a picture of an eagle carrying off a duckling). And, as it Eagle4.jpgturned out, it was a great start of a great day.