Posts Tagged ‘changing of the guard’

Most of the time I am an opportunistic photographer—I wander about and react to the the things that I see. During the nesting season of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), however, I will hangout at spots where I can observe the eagle nests.

The members of an eagle couple take turns sitting on the eggs, and I love to try to capture the changing of the guard, i.e. when one eagle switches off with the other one. Earlier this month, I observed such an exchange at one of the nests that I watch at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The first photo shows the departing eagle. If you look closely behind the eagle, you will see some small twigs in the air that were dislodge during the takeoff. I had to look through a lot of vegetation to get a clear view of the nest and the dark smudges in the photo are branches that were partially blocking my vision—fortunately those branches were on the periphery of my composition.

The second photo shows the arriving eagle. The nest is so small that I don’t think it could hold both eagles at the same times, particularly when there are fragile eggs present.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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