How to Respect the Bald Eagles and Get your Photo:
(Doc’s personal eagle etiquette rules do NOT include watching breeding eagles and nests):
1) Eagles have a personal distance of 300 feet. You get closer than 300 feet – a football field in distance – and they leave.
2) When you get too close and an eagle leaves, you have just disturbed its feeding.
3) At the dam – that 300 foot rule (which by the way is the Federal legal distance to keep us from disturbing eagles) means you should not go more than 1/2 way down the length of the riprap.
4) Bring a chair or blanket for sitting on the rocks. Sit in one place.
5) Have a couple of hours to sit.
6) RESIST the temptation to dash down the length of the riprap when an eagle shows up – they go right back down the river. And remember, you just stopped their feeding efforts.
7) The very best photo I ever saw of an eagle at the Jordan Lake, Haw River riprap was taken by a lady with her point and shot camera – the eagles came right up river to where we were sitting and proceeded to fish in front of us.
I photographed this 2-year-old eagle at the Jordan Lake Haw River riprap this morning. I was half way down the riprap.