Hood Canal, Washington…the western-most channel in Puget Sound. Tides range up to 15 feet and at the very low tides in the spring and early summer, bald eagles congregate along the northern sections to feed on the fish—sculpins—that become stranded in the rocky shallows as the tide goes out. Here they compete with great blue herons, gulls and crows for the abundant food.
With the eagles come the photographers. I went with a group led by Nate Chappell, a professional nature photographer originally from this area. Typical Washington weather…rain, sun breaking through, then more rain didn’t discourage us and had no effect on the eagles. Lots of action; lots of digital images (I had many of the sky where the eagle just was); time sped by. Here’s a few of the several thousand frames I took:
Starting with my favorite shot, an adult bald eagle on a moss-covered rock on the beach.
Eagles don’t seem to be bothered by the photographers
Sitting on the beach watching the eagles and herons performing at the water’s edge
After eating their fill, the eagles roosted in the conifers that came down to the water’s edge.
The crows delighted in harassing the roosting eagles
Fifteen to twenty eagles were actively feeding at any given time
A marine smorgasbord
Eating their fill, they’d roost in the trees and dry their wings
The really action was the interaction of eagles with the great blue herons and with each other
Back off, buddy!
Family feuds were common
Such fantastic birds…
It’s nice to know they’re no longer Endangered.