Friday, June 19, 2009

Blackwater NWR - Bald Eagles in June

I've been in to photography and eagles for coming up on 4 years, and I've been going to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge for the majority of that time. For whatever reason I've had gaps in when I've been to Blackwater. June was one of those gaps, the bald eagles have recently fledged in the area and the osprey have young chicks.

Here's one of the adults, possibly from the cam-nest:
Bald Eagle @ Blackwater Refuge, MD
I went a few days ago to Blackwater, read on for more.




I've been to Blackwater around 45 or 50 times, starting in about December 2005. It really helps to go some where a lot. Things like where exactly the eagle cam-nest is, or habits of the eagles can be learned by spending a lot of time at a refuge like Blackwater. While I like to share all sorts of images from a place like Blackwater, I think people should put in the time themselves to visit a favorite place and learn its special details.

It took a couple years to just find some fox kits, and that was last year, this year I've been a few times and struck out even though I know I was close:
Curious Fox Kits @ Blackwater NWR, MD

The above is from early April 2008, when the kits may have been just a few weeks old.

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So, my recent trip has resulted in seeing quite a few just fledged bald eagles. One was perched with its parents right off of Key Wallace Drive near the visitor's center:






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The next images are from right off of the Wildlife Drive. The pair of adults (probably the cam-nest pair) were perched on a pole together watching their territory. Another (neighbor) bald eagle was hidden in the grass out of my sight, but in their sight, and after a couple moments all the eagles hit the air:








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Near the cam-nest is another nest, that's closer to the Wildlife Drive. There's just tons of eagle's nests in the area so, being surprised that there's a nest here or there is not what you should be thinking. Taking some time to just look around almost anywhere at Blackwater, you will probably find/see a nest.

Roughly between the cam-nest and the other nest I spotted 3 Juvenile Bald Eagles all perched together. Young eagles have a way of calling out like the little kids that they are, and listening revealed them to me this time...



And finally, here's a bald eagle hanging out in the grass at the refuge, right off of the Wildlife Drive as well.



Unlike some other spots I've visited on multiple occasions, Blackwater NWR in Maryland never disappoints. There are more than a hundred resident eagles, and there are Golden Eagles there too, as well as osprey, herons, hawks, harriers and all sorts of great wildlife to see. I've got a set on flickr devoted to Blackwater NWR here with a variety of things I've seen...



-Jon

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2 comments:

Lisa M said...

Awesome photos -- thanks so much for publicizing what a great eagle site Blackwater NWR is for photographers and birders.

magpie said...

These are all magnificent pictures, and the narrative/commentary is very educational and fascinating as well.