eagle,Image created by Hope Rutledge

Photographing Nesting Bald Eagles

Bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

    This little bald eagle chick is a male. He's hungry, so he's peeping for his parents to bring food.
    He hatched in the spring of 2006 a day or two after a female chick. Female bald eagles are usually larger than males, and in this instance the female was much larger.
    Now the female chick is awake and hungry, too.

Bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

    At last, here's mom with some food.

Bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

    I didn't think he was going to survive, because the female ate most of the food.

Bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

    He fought to reach the food in the parent eagle's beak, but was no match for the larger female chick, and once exhausted he lay down in the nest and his weak peeping was scarcely heard.

Bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

    It was heart breaking to watch, so I packed up my camera gear and went home.

    When I returned to photograph the eagles a few weeks later, I thought he would be gone, but to my amazement and delight both eaglets were in the nest. They had grown much larger, and they were all decked out in their new brown feathers.
    The larger eaglet ate her fill, and then the male ate.

Bald eagle, Image created by Hope Rutledge

    Upon returning a third time, I found the male was alone in the nest, because the female eaglet had fledged. Both parents and the female eaglet were perched in a nearby tree.
     Sometime later, one parent flew to the nest with food for the male eaglet.
    In the end, I was happy to learn from the homeowner that the male had survived his first flight. From day one, he was a determined little bird and a survivor.

    The nest is located in a city park near a university. The nest was built atop a tall pine tree next to the park perimeter, which is at the bottom of a steep ridge surrounding much of the park. Atop the ridge are houses, one of them has a back deck which is about 40 yards parallel to the height of the nest. Thanks to the kind and generous home owners, area photographers were allowed into their backyard to photograph the eagles. One of the home owners had coffee every morning on their deck; subsequently the eagles were acclimated to human presence and ignored photographers. Being fortunate enough to photograph bald eagles is always an incredible experience!
    I photographed the bald eagle pair one more nesting season, but haven't returned since. I don't know if the nest is still there or if any bald eagles have been using it.


   American Bald Eagle Information was created as a retirement hobby to provide bald eagle and other information as well as share my photos.
   The information and photos on this web site may be used for student projects as long as neither are placed on other websites. The photographs are copyrighted by Hope Rutledge, the owner and author of the American Bald Eagle Information website, and are NOT available for other websites, photo galleries or commercial use of any kind.

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