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bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

   The bald eagle photographs on this website were taken in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Alaska. During the winter months, when most northern lakes and rivers freeze over, the water remains open by locks and dams on the Mississippi River as well as areas where large rivers empty into it. Bald eagles congregate in large numbers by the open water areas for access to fish. Several cities along the Mississippi River celebrate "Bald Eagle Day" events.
   On the Homer Spit in Alaska, Jean Keene (Eagle Lady), fed bald eagles from mid December through mid April for almost 30 years. She started with a pair and the numbers grew to about 200. Jean passed away on January 13, 2009. She was 85.
   An ordinance passed by Homer officials to ban eagle feeding on the Homer Spit was to go in effect, but an emergency ordinance has allowed eagle feeding to be extended for 60 days following Jean Keene's death. Since eagle feeding had already began for the winter, wildlife officials agreed it might be best to taper off the feedings.
   During October and November, about three thousand bald eagles congregate for the annual Chilkat River salmon run by Haines, AK. The 2013 Alaska Bald Eagle Festival will be held in November from the 11th through the 17th.
   The northwest US coast and British Columbia are great places to photograph eagles during the winter months as well.

   Wisconsin winters can be very harsh. When lakes and rivers freeze over, bald eagles congregate near available food sources, such as locks and dams on the Mississippi River where the water remains open year-round. Most of the perched birds are bald eagles; the large dark birds are immature bald eagles. As can be heard in the audio, there are crows in the area as well.
Bald eagle viewing directory - Reports of bald eagle sightings in the lower 48 states and Canada.

   I began doing wildlife photography in 2000. At first, it was for the sole purpose of providing bald eagle photos for this website; subsequently, it grew into an enjoyment of photographing all wildlife as well as doing a bit of scenic and macro photography. Switching from 35mm equipment to digital has made photography less expensive as well as providing the capability of delivering instant results. It's a great hobby and a lot of fun!
   Thanks to the conservation efforts of so many caring people, bald eagles can now be seen throughout the Lower 48 States as well as Alaska, Canada and Mexico.
      .....Hope Rutledge

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bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

   This eagle photo was taken at Alma, WI. It's not unusual to see bald eagles in this area; several bald eagle pairs are year-round residents because of the nearby Mississippi River. If the river freezes over, eagles have access to fish below Alma lock and dam on the Mississippi River.

   It takes five years for a bald eagle to fully mature. During that time, an immature bald eagle's feathers gradually change from motley brown and white to a totally white head and tail, with dark brown body and wing feathers, and the beak gradually changes from dark brown to yellow and the eyes from brown to light yellow.

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