Eagle’s Landing

After a successful shoot at Whitewater Draw, I wanted to check out the eagles in Pinetop / Lakeside.

Generally, their season is between November through March. But, as with all wildlife, they don’t follow a precise schedule and don’t necessarily indulge in our guidelines.

I have previously enjoyed watching eagles catch fish and hang out among the many trees around Rainbow Lake. On my recent outing I was fortunate to see a few bald eagles and a couple juvenile eagles. None seemed to be inclined to fish, and were merely hanging out.

It would appear that I was too late for this year’s season. Though, who’s to say, if I came back tomorrow I might find a myriad of eagles fishing to their heart’s content. Such is the nature of the beast.

No matter, I got a few nice pix, and a wonderful day out. It’s all good.

Eagle Fest

Blue Drift_IR.jpg

It’s that time of the year when the eagles are nesting, breeding generally in January / February.  Pinetop / Lakeside in Northern AZ hosts an Eagle Fest hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish for an educational experience to learn about the eagles, their habitat, behaviors, and a field trip to see the eagles ‘in action’.

FlightPlay_IR.jpg

Female bald eagles lay between 1 – 3 eggs, with only a 35 day incubation period.  The fledgling(s) only stays in the nest for 45 days before being kicked out to fend for itself.

eagleflight_IR.jpg

The juvenile bald eagles, or eaglets are born a light gray and turn brown in color.  It isn’t until they are 4 – 5 years old that the iconic white head and tail feathers appear.  Bald eagles can live to be 35 years old or more.

Juvi_IR.jpg

Our field trip was at Rainbow Lake, in Lakeside, AZ.  It was fascinating to watch all the waterfowl ‘walking on the water’ as the ice melted on the lake.

walkgonwater_IR.jpg

We watched mergansers catch fish and chase each other around to try to steal the fish from one another.

Merganser Chase_IR.jpg

That is… until the bald eagle got hungry and dive bombed the mergansers to make their catch their own.

Eagle Fly_IR.jpg

Just goes to show… the bigger bird gets the worm, er… fish.

Duckdance_IR.jpg

Neighborhood Eagles

hawkclose_PSPSi We’ve had a number of sightings of big birds in the area.  At first we thought they were hawks.  But after getting a couple pix of them, we discovered they are golden eagles… and bald eagles.

It seems they migrate in the winter, so it would seem that they may have found a winter home in the area.  How cool is that?  Be on the look out if you’re in Happy Jack, AZ.

eaglehortPSi