Thursday, January 21, 2021

Bald Eagle balancing act

After arriving to monitor the local Bald Eagle nest, I was getting out of my car when the female of the pair flew over my head and landed on  top of a tree just across the street. I quickly grabbed the camera and captured a burst of images as the magnificent bird steadied herself on a slender branch:

Jewel, as she is known, soon took flight and headed straight to the new nest under construction:

Pride, her mate, was roosting nearby:

The pair has established a new, alternate nest only about 109 yards (100 meters) to the east of the old one. The latter has been used continuously for at least 14 years. It is not uncommon for Bald Eagles to change or create alternate nest sites, although some have been known to occupy the same nest continuously for over 30  years. 

They presently have a new use for their old one-- it has become a cafeteria of sorts. On December 27, Pride was there, eating a fish:

The next day, Jewel was doing the same thing:

Eagles have been known to cache uneaten prey remains in a nearby location which they can watch and defend.  

On January 2, both eagles got an early start on adding branches to the new nest. When I arrived at about 9:00 AM, the male (Pride) was on the nest. Several watchers had been observing for over an hour. The sky was overcast and visibility was limited, poor for photography:

The structure has grown and now almost fills the gap between the two main support branches. The nest platform is slanted at an odd angle. Normally it would be horizontal, so it will be interesting to see how they will accomplish this:

The female (Jewel) had just flown out searching for sticks. She flew up into the tallest Australian Pine along the road to the east:

Jewel disappeared into the foliage of the tree and flapped wildly as she tried to break off a large living branch.  She was really struggling with the branch. She worked to pick it from the tree by using her weight, actually flying upside down, but the limber branch held fast to the tree:

I had never seen anything like this before. She finally gave up the struggle and returned to the nest with a smaller prize:

The Full Cold Moon was to set about 20 minutes before sunrise on December 29. I hurried out towards the lake...

...but only about 10 minutes before it was to touch the horizon just to the left (south) of the Pine Bank, clouds  moved in and  spoiled the show:

I gave up hope of seeing the Moon again and continued walking to the north. To my surprise, the Moon appeared on the other (right) end of the Pine Bank, below the clouds for an enchanting minute or two:

A Great Egret posed against the pre-dawn sky:

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Linking to:

Nature Thursday

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters


Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday


Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display


  1. Fabulous photos and great info, thanks for sharing.
    Keep safe Diane

  2. Dear nature lover,
    thanks again for the breathtaking photos!
    It must be wonderful to watch this huge bird
    Greetings and nice that you have linked to "Nature Thursday"

  3. Watching those eagles is amazing. Trying to break a green stick off a pine tree is a tall order. She was definitely doing some problem solving.
    I love your moon pics!!

  4. magnificent eagles, and that sunset boggles the mind

  5. Magnificent photography of those majestic eagles and awesome moon photos ~ you were definitely 'one with nature' ~ such an opportunity ~

    Moment by moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  6. Hi Kenneth,
    first of all thanks for your email.
    I also have a heavy security on my blog, but luckily I can respond to you. Very unfortunate that you cannot respond because of your security. I copied your reaction about the owl and the robin and put it in a comment box ;-)

    Your photos of the eagel that I see here are truly phenomenal !!! Beautiful bird and beautifully portrayed clearly. The way he is doing the balancing act is truly beautiful.

    Greetings, Helma

  7. Wundervoll! Beautiful Bird`s, thank you!

  8. Wonderful pictures cloudy or not! That’s not a very big branch to support such a large bird. Nice series. Thanks for sharing this majestic bird. I have never been able to get an eagle with my camera.Enjoy your weekend

  9. The photos of Jewel and Pride were wonderful, Kenneth, especially the ones of them in flight. The photo of Jewel trying to get that branch to come down was really something to see as well. How long is your telephoto lens to capture such closeups? The final photos of the moon and sunset were as beautiful and awesome as ever!

    1. Beatrice, I shoot with a Hand-held Canon EOS 90D with EF 300mm f/4L IS USM and EF 1.4X II Extender (420 mm f/5.6 lens system, 672 mm 35 mm equivalent). Range was about 80 feet (~25 meters)

  10. you were in the right place at the right time, these are recordings to enjoy, wonderful
    Greetings Frank

  11. Wonderful photos. That branch looks way too small to support that big eagle!

  12. Hello Ken,

    Your Bald Eagle photos are just beautiful, great series on the eagle and nest. The sky scenes are lovely, gorgeous moon. Great collection of photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend! PS, thank you for the comment.

  13. Truly stunning images of the Bald Eagle.

  14. Your bald eagle photos never disappoint!

  15. Kenneth! I am so so happy to be back after a full month of absence. Thank you for welcoming me back not just with this awesome balancing great eagle but because of my favorite bird the Egret perched atop that tree that he seems to be so big at! Wishing you a late but still warm happy new year!

  16. This is so interesting. I always heard that birds build a new nest every year - but maybe that is true for small birds. But my goodness, I have moved more than some bald eagles! What's also new to me is that they keep a stash of uneaten food nearby.Thank you for these gorgeous sky scapes for All Seasons too, Ken.Never a dull moment on any of your posts! Jesh

  17. Ken, as an Eagle nest monitor here in CT, I was absolutely enamored by your photos!!..Regarding the breaking off of live branches, I watched the pair work in the woods ripping and tearing off branches of pine to add to the nest. They are magnificent creatures!

  18. Absolutely breathtaking photos! Thank you for sharing them and have a wonderful week!

  19. Stunning shots of the eagles, and OH MY - what gorgeous skies!!!
    Thank you for sharing with us at

  20. The eagle captures are amazing. What an incredible bird.

    Worth a Thousand words

  21. Terrific series of wonderful photographs documenting the eagles' progress! Pretty amazing watching her try to harvest that green branch.

    Loving your "skyscapes"!

    Take care, Ken.

  22. Wow those shots of the eagles are amazing. What a majestic bird.


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