Over the past two months I've been focused on getting shots of snowy owls and short-eared owls. Since I haven't put much time into looking for eagles lately, I thought today I would shift my focus on going out to photograph the wintering eagles in our area.
I first started my day by going down to Peekskill to meet up with a new friend. He was fantastic as he showed me around the area and directed me to all the hot spots. We cruised around Peekskill and Verplanck, staying in areas along the Hudson River and saw eagles everywhere. There were eagles of all different ages and they were so entertaining to watch. They perched in trees along the roads giving us fantastic opportunities for perched shots with the beautiful blue sky in the background. We also watched eagles fishing in the distance and we watched so many chases. The young eagles looked like they were having fun goofing off with one another.
At one point one of the youngsters caught a fish and landed on the train tracks to eat it. I was so nervous the whole time it sat there eating and with the other eagles joining him on the tracks. It was there for a while and I kept on eye on it while hoping it would move elsewhere, but it didn't. Then we heard a train approaching and I was really nervous for him and the other two eagles that joined him and watched him eat. I watched as the train got closer and closer and held my breath while praying for them. Eventually the conductor honked and honked the horn. I was so relieved as the sound of the horn made them flee the tracks. Sadly though, after the train went by, they returned. Luckily all went well and they eventually got off the tracks.
By early afternoon the winds had picked up and the sky quickly turned to overcast, so I figured I would head back towards the Poughkeepsie area and check some of my favorite hotspots there. That too was plenty full of eagles as I saw 4 or 5 more before calling it a day and heading home.
With so many eagle pics to choose from it was tough to pick one out for the blog, so I figured I would use one of the shots of the first eagle I photographed this morning. My guess is that this youngster is around 3-4 yrs of age as it has a lot of white on his head and tail feathers. What struck me most about this guy is his striking eyes. Intense and beautiful!