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Recently at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the only views I have gotten of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been of them flying away from me. Yesterday I got lucky and caught a glimpse through the foliage of one sitting in a distant tree in what appears to be a nest. Earlier this year, several roads in the refuge were closed after two eaglets were born. I don’t know if this was the nesting site, but suspect it might have been.

I was a long way away, but had a small visual tunnel through the trees that gave me a mostly unobstructed view of the eagle. I tried to move slowly, although I figured that the eagle was unaware of my presence. Apparently I underestimated the sharpness of the eagle’s vision, because it took off from the nest not long after I began shooting.

As I have said in the past, however, any day that I am able to see and photograph a Bald Eagle is a wonderful day.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When you see a white, rounded object in a bird’s nest, your minds tends to assume that it is an egg. Of course, when it is the middle of the winter and the temperature is well below the freezing point, you know that it can’t be an egg (unless it’s from a snowbird, but I think they have already migrated south to the beaches of Florida).

I came across this little nest as I was making my way through the thorny vines at the edge of one of the ponds at my local marshland park. I still have trouble identifying many birds and I haven’t the slightest clue about what kind of bird would use a nest like this.

Still, this nest caught my eye as a kind of visual reminder that spring will arrive in just a few months, full of the promise of new life.

nest_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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