It is Freedom Friday and here’s a cool capture I recently took.
With their young one having fledged, this male and his mate have some free time and have returned to hanging out a lake in northern Colorado. When I stopped by a couple of weeks ago, I found him standing proudly in their favorite tree. After a time, he went out and attempted to fish but came back empty handed (or taloned as it were).
Undeterred, he tried again and was rewarded for his effort with a very nice sized catch. In this image, he is returning to the tree with his meal. Fish are certainly the Bald Eagle’s preferred meal. Here in Colorado though, water is sparse so you are just as likely to find them hunting waterfowl or prairie dogs.
Have a great weekend and TGIF!
When you know you are the center of attention, why not show your appreciation by taking a bow? That almost seemed like that is what this regal eagle was doing although in truth it was just stretching.
In all the time I have spent with eagles, I have never seen one stretch this way. Owls commonly do this but this was for me the first time I have seen an eagle do it. Kind of fun.
Also notice its eye. Bald Eagles (and many other birds) have an inner eyelid called a nictitating membrane. This membrane wipes front to back every few seconds, cleaning the cornea. It is translucent and the eagle can actually see through it.
Kind of a fun little series of images put in slideshow format of this gorgeous female Bald #Eagle when she came in for a landing one day back in April. It is hard to do it justice as they move so fast and Facebook limits how many images you can put in this to 10. Hope you enjoy your Freedom Friday show!
When the end of the workweek comes, it is normal to feel beat down and ready for a much-needed break. The look on this handsome guy’s face seems to reflect that. 😉
Looking much like a professional swimmer leaping off the side of the pool, this Bald Eagle launches itself into the air from its perch. Kind of a fun picture that showcases the power and size of these incredible raptors.
All of the little ones at the nest sites I visit have fledged and the families are now spreading out and becoming a bit more difficult to find. Come the fall though, the seasonal visitors will return and I am already anxiously awaiting the time.
Striking the quintessential pose, this majestic male seemed to know he was top dog and loving all the attention he was getting. Taken back in February at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado, I was fortunate enough to spend more than an hour observing him before he finally got bored with me and moved on.
It is Friday, the countdown to 5:00 is on and this guy is ready to go! 😉
Such a handsome guy and a very successful father. Last year he sired one eaglet and this year he and his mate had two. When I last checked on them a couple of weeks ago, the young ones had not yet fledged but they should soon if they haven’t already.
Bald eagles have been a spiritual symbol of Native Americans for hundreds of years. It is believed that Bald Eagle populations were as high as 500,000 in the lower 48 states before the arrival of Europeans. Adopted as the United States’ national symbol in 1782, there were only about 100,000 by then.
Bald Eagle populations continued to decline in the 1800s due to loss of habitat and a corresponding loss of its prey. It was said to be at the edge of extinction in 1940 and that was followed by the introduction of DDT, a pesticide which further threatened the raptor causing its eggs to have very fragile shells.
By the early 1960s, there were a mere 487 pairs of mated eagles in the lower 48 it was declared an endangered species. DDT was banned in 1972 and since then the Bald Eagle has made an extraordinary comeback, being removed from the endangered species list in 2007.
President Ronald Reagan first issued a proclamation for National Bald Eagle Day in 1982 commemorating the 200th anniversary of this majestic creature becoming our nation’s symbol. Man’s stupidity nearly eradicated the eagle from the earth but thankfully we wised up and it has made a miraculous recovery. Now we have the privilege of seeing them regularly and marveling at their beauty. I cannot think of a more fitting creature to symbolize the United States of America. The text of that first proclamation follows:
Proclamation 4893—Bicentennial Year of the American Bald Eagle and National Bald Eagle Day
January 28, 1982
By the President of the United States of America
Whether silhouetted against the sky on a rocky pinnacle in Alaska or soaring majestically overhead in Florida, the bald eagle is admired as one of nature’s most spectacular creatures.
To catch a glimpse of this majestic raptor is to understand why the Founding Fathers chose it to represent the strength and courage of our great Nation. Its grace and power in flight, its vigilance and loyalty in defending its family group, and, most of all, its courage make the eagle a proud and appropriate symbol for the United States. Its presence on the Great Seal of the United States—one talon extending the olive branch of peace, the other brandishing the arrows of defense—is a symbol of friendship and cooperation to our allies and a warning to our adversaries that we are not to be trod upon.
No one is certain what the original United States population of the bird was, although it may have approached 75,000 – 100,000. We do know, however, that its extinction has become a disheartening possibility in recent years.
We have sought to prevent that possibility by restricting the use of certain pesticides. Shooting and habitat destruction are also being brought under control as a result of protection and conservation programs conducted under the Bald Eagle Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. Scientists believe we are now beginning to see a subtle but definite population increase through the cooperative efforts of Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies, conservation and industrial groups, scientists, and private citizens. These efforts are truly indicative of the spirit of cooperation and perseverance which is at the very heart of our national character.
On June 20, 1782, the bald eagle became our Nation’s symbol and national bird. As we approach the bicentennial anniversary of that event, we have an excellent opportunity to pause and reflect upon the importance of the bald eagle, indeed of all our fish and wildlife resources, to a healthy America. On this occasion, let us renew our commitment and dedication to the conservation of our natural heritage as symbolized by the bald eagle.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in accordance with a joint resolution of the Congress (SJ. Res. 121), do hereby proclaim June 20, 1982 as “National Bald Eagle Day” and designate the year 1982 as the “Bicentennial Year of the American Bald Eagle.” I call upon the people of the United States to join in these observances with appropriate activities in their homes and communities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 28th day of January in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
Well, this happened quickly. The male Bald Eagle at this nest is not normally pleasant, always making a ruckus anytime anyone or anything comes even remotely close. On this day, a young Bald Eagle dared to intrude on its territory and it was not happy. Fortunate for me, the young one was flying right behind me leading the adult to launch and fly right over me. Taken along the South Platte River north of Denver, Colorado.
Make some noise for Friday and remember It is five o’clock somewhere! 😉 This symbol of freedom seems to be making sure we are all well aware the weekend is here and it is time to let loose and have some fun. Hope you all have a great one!