Eagles of Costal BC – Part 2 – Portraits

Eagles in the Brackendale area are so abundant its possible to get some great results observing different behaviour and capturing some great eagle expressions. I have photographed many eagles over the past few years and I still get a a chill and a grin when one looks at me directly with such piercing yellow eyes.

They probably wonder why I have eyelashes or how I could possibly manage to peck an eyeball from a fish with my flat mouth and smooth nose.


The eagle eye is especially interesting for someone who is interested in light and lenses.

Even the monster 500mm Canon lens does not compare to their ability to see fish beneath the water in moving current from 100m soaring around. Fishermen with polarized glasses have trouble seeing the countershaded salmon beneath the water.

I wouldn’t want to be a swimmer or flier around the Brackendale area during this time. How quickly some animals can turn from predator to prey.

There is really no point in hiding from a Bald Eagle. Attempting to sneak up to a spot will flush most birds and this can be a problem for the health of the animal.

It takes a lot of energy to fly and especially in lean times, this flushing can cause harm to an eagle or group. Its not worth the photograph if you are harming the very thing you enjoy photographing.

Its usually better just to wait and let them come to you.


Photographing wildlife is an exercise in patience. Sometimes you sit or stand in a uncomfortable position for hours at a time because you are sure that something will happen, not unlike a gambler in Vegas waiting for the next win.


Despite their excellent hunting abilities the Bald Eagle will tend to prefer the fruits of a good scavenge. In this case their fruit is a rotting salmon. Strange that I craved some sushi after this day of shooting. Next time I may invite the eagle.



This one made me think of 3 old men sitting on a snowy log talking about how easy the juveniles have it now. “Back in my day, the salmon in this river were alive.”



Despite their similarities, seeing so many eagles at once allows you to pick out personality traits such as shyness, boldness and curiosity. The juveniles are especially bold at times and may choose to dive bomb an adult sitting on a salmon carcass.

Sometimes you can even capture an interesting look and imagine a caption underneath.

I can haz fishburger?



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