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Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle performs picture perfect flyby

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of witnessing a pair of eagles drive off a third that they felt was intruding on their territory.  As the event unfolded, the two aggressors performed many flybys as they circled and took stock of the interloper.

I captured many worthy images of them as they flew only about 20 feet over my head – this is one of them.  To view the complete gallery of their flybys, see below the main image.

For the narrative about the aerial duel and images of that, see here.

An aggressive Bald Eagle flies over on its way to try to drive off another eagle it felt was intruding on its territory.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An aggressive Bald Eagle flies over on its way to try to drive off another eagle it felt was intruding on its territory. (© Tony’s Takes)

Can’t I just enjoy some peace and quiet and watch the snow?

This bald eagle in Thornton, Colorado found a quiet December Sunday this past weekend shattered by blackbirds that decided to join it – and hassle it. The eagle eventually gave up and headed for quieter environs.

View more pictures from this snowy day below the main image.

Blackbirds hassle a Bald Eagle in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Blackbirds hassle a Bald Eagle in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Get off my tree!

“Get off my tree!” Cold and snowy here in Denver, Colorado today but that didn’t stop me – and the wildlife. This Bald Eagle didn’t seem very happy with having to share its part of the tree with a Red Tailed Hawk. The eagle was extremely vocal in voicing its displeasure.

A Bald Eagle appears to be unhappy that a Red Tailed Hawk is sitting in the same tree.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle appears to be unhappy that a Red Tailed Hawk is sitting in the same tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

Juvenile Bald Eagle takes flight

A bit of an extreme close up as this eagle took off from a pole yesterday. I certainly did not plan on capturing this image like this but the eagle caught me off guard.

It was perched on a pole and was perfectly content to let me get close so I was zoomed in to my lens’ max trying to get a nice, detailed head shot. Apparently the eagle decided it was time to go and suddenly launched itself into the air. This image is just as it started to spread its wings to take off and was the only one in the sequence that came out. A bit of an unusual angle and look but I am loving the detail.

You can view some more pics from yesterday of this eagle as well as a hawk and kestrel I found here.

Close up of a juvenile Bald Eagle as it launches into the air.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Close up of a juvenile Bald Eagle as it launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

Regal young eagle

This juvenile bald eagle was ready for a close up and more than willing to let me approach as he sat perched on a pole northeast of Denver, Colorado. It and a few other young ones have taken up residency lately in the same area.

This one is between two and three years old. It won’t be for another two or three years that it really starts to look like a bald eagle with the distinctive white head. Even at this young age, these are magnificent looking birds.

View more pictures of this eagle and some other raptors from this day’s photo excursion below.

Close up of a juvenile Bald Eagle in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Close up of a juvenile Bald Eagle in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Uneasy roost mates

Eagles and hawks are genetically similar but it isn’t too often you see them right next to each other. This past weekend, while taking pictures of a Bald Eagle perched on a power pole in Adams County, Colorado, the eagle was surprisingly joined on its roost by a young Red Tailed Hawk.

I was zoomed in on the eagle and noticed he was focused in on something to his right – he had a look on his face like, “What the heck?” Pulling my eye away from the viewfinder I discover a hawk had joined the eagle on the opposite side of the pole!

The young hawk didn’t seem to think anything of it but the eagle clearly did not appreciate his new roost mate. They sat together for a few minutes before the hawk headed off to hunt a nearby prairie dog colony. It was very cool to see and somewhat amusing.

Scroll below to see more images of the event.

A young Red Tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle share a roost in rural Adams County, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Red Tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle share a roost in rural Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Aerial drama as Bald Eagles drive off one of their own

One of two aggressive eagles tries to chase a third from a pole north of Denver, Colorado.  View more images of the encounter below. (© Tony’s Takes)

One of two aggressive eagles tries to chase a third from a pole north of Denver, Colorado. View more images of the encounter below. (© Tony’s Takes)

What began as a relatively calm encounter taking pictures of a gorgeous Bald Eagle sitting on a power pole soon turned into a rather dramatic scene as two more eagles appeared and drove off the first.

A friend let me know about a pole sitting eagle in the north Denver area suburbs.  I hot tailed it there and took many pictures of the raptor – including some fun ones when a hawk shared the power pole with the eagle for a while.

As I am taking pictures, I notice the eagle is focused on something above.  Taking my eye away from the camera and looking north I see two fast moving objects in the sky – more bald eagles!

It soon became clear that these two new arrivals did not appreciate the presence of the first, perhaps because they considered the adjacent prairie dog colonies their home hunting ground.

The aggressor eagles made numerous circles around the first, getting closer with each one.  The original eagle was clearly feeling threatened as it began to ‘puff up’ and got very anxious.

The aggressors then took a couple of dives at the pole sitting eagle.  They never did make contact but the threat was enough that the sitting eagle flew off with the other two giving chase into the distance and out of sight.

It was an absolutely extraordinary experience with bald eagles passing 20 feet above my head and something I will remember forever.  Below are the highlights of what was an action-packed 5 minutes.

Bald Eagles make some noise

These two took up residency in an old hawk’s nest last year and are still hanging around.  Here the male was making a little bit of noise this morning in Adams County,Colorado.  Remember that I have a 2015 Bald Eagle calendar for sale here.  They’d make a great gift for someone on your shopping list.  😉

A nesting pair of Bald Eagles in Commerce City, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A nesting pair of Bald Eagles in Commerce City, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Gaggle of geese take flight as bald eagle causes panic

This past Friday there were hundreds of geese on Lower Derby Lake at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Also there enjoying the beautiful morning were at least 19 bald eagles who were standing on the ice and intermittently going fishing in the parts of the lake that weren’t frozen.

The geese were keeping their distance from the raptors, certainly a smart move. However one of the eagles decided to do a low flyover of the gaggle and that was all it took to send the passive geese fleeing into the air. This images captures the flock as it takes off. Notice the 11 or so bald eagles on the ice as well.

View more pictures from that day at the Arsenal below the image.

Geese take to the air after a Bald Eagle flew over the gaggle sitting on the water. (© Tony’s Takes)

Geese take to the air after a Bald Eagle flew over the gaggle sitting on the water. (© Tony’s Takes)

Eagles on ice

Not a great shot as this was taken from a LONG ways away but… Count ’em – 11 bald eagles on one of the lakes at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge this morning. At one point there were 19!

Bald eagles relax on the ice of a lake at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bald eagles relax on the ice of a lake at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)