I don’t know about you, but I needed to spend a moment or two watching freedom, strength, purpose and life. I went looking for a sequence. I photographed this almost 5-year-old bald eagle fishing within the riprap on January 12, 2020. Fly with her! Breathe with her!
I was trying to capture the light, just so, on a Texas toadflax blossom. The golden light was fading fast. Then a shadow appeared and I forgot about the wildflower for a couple of moments. The young eagle was just starting his second year of life and he was beautiful as the full brightness of a Carolina blue sky filled his sight and my morning.
Bald eagles are not usually sociable. They tolerate a mate and their chicks. Sometimes in winter, bald eagles will congregate around a food source, but argue about it. Once a chick has fledged, the parents will provide it some food and protection into the fall, but then the fledgling is on its own. I have watched, once or twice a year, an eaglet (starting its first or second year of life) make a trip back to its home nest and be briefly tolerated by the parents. On March 26, 2020, I finally got to record one of these encounters. Kate and one of her chicks are visited by the 2019 male fledgling from First Nest. Eventually Petruchio took exception to the visitor and chased it away. I sure am glad I could show you this uncommon bald eagle event!
All parents, be they human or eagle, need an occasional break from parenting duties. Captain Mom came zipping past the nest with Captain Dad not far behind her. They flew hard and fast down the cove trying to be the first eagle to the tree. I think Captain Dad, the lower eagle, just barely won the race!