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Bald Eagle

It doesn’t get better than a bald eagle and the Rocky Mountains

I went down to Cherry Creek State Park this morning where I had heard there was a lot of bald eagle activity.  That was an understatement as they seemed to be everywhere and I took a lot of good pictures of them.  This was one of my favorites as it captured my favorite subject, a bald eagle, coupled with the snow-capped Colorado Rockies.

3/8/14 - Bald eagle and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

3/8/14 – Bald eagle and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Nesting bald eagles may force delay in rebuilding Boulder County bridge

With more bald eagles along the Front Range, it is possible summer construction projects will be delayed. (© Tony’s Takes)

With more bald eagles along the Front Range, it is possible summer construction projects will be delayed. (© Tony’s Takes)

Some nesting bald eagles may force at least one summer road project to be delayed.

According to the Longmont Times-Call, a pair is nesting near where a bridge on Boulder’s East County Line Road / Weld County Road 1 was washed out during last September’s big flood event.

Boulder County Transportation director George Gerstle told the Times-Call that it could be late summer before the project gets underway depending on when the fledgling birds leave the nest.

When that happens, construction can finally begin on replacing the bridge over the St. Vrain River that was washed out in last September’s flood, Gerstle said.

He said Boulder County is being careful to comply with guidelines the U.S. Endangered Species Act sets for such projects in order to ensure that the Federal Highway Administration will reimburse Boulder County for most or all of the estimated $4 million to $5 million total it’s expected to cost to design and build the new bridge.

I believe there has been a rather noticeable increase in bald eagles this winter along the Colorado Front Range.  It seems like with little effort one can find them, even in areas quite populated.  Indeed, one of my favorite places has been along the South Platte River in the north Denver area suburbs.

It will be interesting to see if more stories like this are repeated in the coming month or so as eagles mate.

In 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list after staging an extraordinary comeback.  It is however protected by the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

In Colorado, the state’s Division of Wildlife has established guidelines establishing buffer zones around the bird’s activities.  Those state:

Nest Site:
No surface occupancy (beyond that which historically occurred in the area; see ‘Definitions’ below) within ¼ mile radius of active nests (see ‘Definitions’ below). Seasonal restriction to human encroachment (see ‘Definitions’ below) within ½ mile radius of active nests from October 15 through July 31. This closure is more extensive than the National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines (USFWS 2007) due to the generally open habitat used by Colorado’s nesting bald eagles.

Winter Night Roost:
No human encroachment from November 15 through March 15 within ¼ mile radius of an active winter night roost (see ‘Definitions’ below) if there is no direct line of sight between the roost and the encroachment activities. No human encroachment from November 15 through March 15 within ½ mile radius of an active winter night roost if there is a direct line of sight between the roost and the encroachment activities. If periodic visits (such as oil well maintenance work) are required within the buffer zone after development, activity should be restricted to the period between 1000 and 1400 hours from November 15 to March 15.

Hunting Perch:
Diurnal hunting perches (see ‘Definitions’ below) associated with important foraging areas should also be protected from human encroachment. Preferred perches may be at varying distances from human encroachment and buffer areas will vary. Consult the Colorado Division of Wildlife for recommendations for specific hunting perches.

March in Colorado? Meh!

A very cold and blustery morning today wasn’t fit for man or beast to be outside.  That didn’t stop me and it of course animals have little choice.  One of my bald eagle friends was hanging out in the cold, undoubtedly wondering when spring would be arriving.  She definitely did not look happy.

March 1, 2014 - March in Colorado? Meh! © Tony’s Takes

March 1, 2014 – March in Colorado? Meh! © Tony’s Takes

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Bald eagle works on making a home

Having taken the day off I used the opportunity – and the nice weather – to do some wildlife watching.  First stop was my favorite pair of bald eagles who put on a great show for more than an hour.  Here the male is returning from picking up some nesting material.  I am hoping this means little ones are one the way soon.  If so, it could be any day now.

February 28, 2014 - Bringing back some nest material. (© Tony’s Takes)

February 28, 2014 – Bringing back some nest material. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

 

Nest building eagles

Out and about on a cool Saturday morning and visiting my recently found favorite pair of bald eagles in rural Adams County, Colorado.  I and my son watched them for a good while as they simply sat, warming themselves in the sun.

One takes off and seemed to fly away and we were thinking the show was about to end but in in reality it was just beginning.  The eagle circled back flying to a nearby tree.

Without stopping or missing a beat it grabs a branch in the tree and breaks it off with a loud crack.  Carrying its new-found nest material, the bird circled the nest as it trying to decide where it wanted it then came back and dropped it right on target while landing.  It was a very impressive display.

A bald eagle prepares to drop a newly found branch on its nest in Adams County. (© Tony's Takes)

A bald eagle prepares to drop a newly found branch on its nest in Adams County. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Bald eagle back-lit by iridescent clouds

Driving home I saw a bald eagle in common perch along the South Platte. Despite the late afternoon low sun and the fact the eagle was back-lit pretty heavily, I decided to stop and, boy, am I glad I did.

As I prepared to take a few photos I noticed the iridescent clouds in the background.

Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the rainbow colors seen with oil in water.

I had to brighten up the shadows a bit but all in all it was a nice shot.

February 12, 2014 - Bald eagle back-lit by iridescent clouds. (© Tony’s Takes)

February 12, 2014 – Bald eagle back-lit by iridescent clouds. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Eagle flight in the fog

Very cold weather with temperatures below zero almost kept me from trolling one of my usual spots for bald eagles.  Almost.

Thankfully they didn’t make me walk too far in the cold.  A pair of mature bald eagles were hanging out in a tree across the river.  I was able to capture some nice images including this one of one of them as it took flight.

February 5, 2014 - Bald eagle takes flight in the fog. (© Tony’s Takes)

February 5, 2014 – Bald eagle takes flight in the fog. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Immature bald eagle fly by

Out for a walk along the South Platte River with my wife, we saw a few immature bald eagles in a tree across the river.  As I got closer to the river bank to get a better angle for a photo, this one took flight.  He seemed genuinely interested in us as he flew in circles over our heads three times.  That was of course just the opportunity I had hoped for.

December 30, 2013 - Immature bald eagle fly by. (© Tony’s Takes)

December 30, 2013 – Immature bald eagle fly by. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Regal eagle

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Denver is a veritable cornucopia of photo opportunities. Usually the bald eagles here are too far away to capture images of but on this day this particular eagle was perched right by the entrance to the refuge. I was almost giddy as I got within 50 feet of the amazing bird.

Order a print of this image.

January 25, 2013 – Regal eagle. (© Tony’s Takes)

January 25, 2013 – Regal eagle. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.