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Do these feathers make my beak look big? by Mike Oxley

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Do these feathers make my beak look big? by 

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The “Bird Show”

Parc Omega, Montebello, Quebec, Canada
August 9, 2011

254 views, 23 “favourites” and 5 features as of 11/2/11. Thank you!

A regal lady, indeed, accepting the puny offerings of the keeper with a sardonic sneer and disdain, but deigning to pose for her admiring audience with quiet dignity and hoping some idjit tries to pet her.

Finally, after all is over and the keeper approaches to return her to the confines of her cage, she expresses her displeasure. One regal raspberry at all concerned.

With thanks to

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a member of the sea and fish eagle group.


Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; and yellow feet and bill.

Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white. They reach full maturity in four to five years.


The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male.

Wingspan ranges from 72 to 90 inches.

Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. During level flight, they can achieve speeds of about 30 to 35 mph.

Bald eagles weigh from ten to fourteen pounds.

Eagle bones are light, because they are hollow.

The beak, talons, and feathers are made of keratin.

Bald eagles have 7,000 feathers.


Wild bald eagles may live as long as thirty years.

Bald eagles sit at the top of the food chain

Lifting power is about 4 pounds.


Mainly fish, but they will take advantage of carrion (dead and decaying flesh).

The bald eagle is a strong swimmer, but if the water is very cold, it may be overcome by hypothermia.

Hunting area varies from 1,700 to 10,000 acres. Home ranges are smaller where food is present in great quantity.

All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight.

Nests are built in large trees near rivers or coasts.

An eagle reaches sexual maturity at around four or five years of age.


Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies.

Bald eagles lay from one to three eggs.

The 35 days of incubation duties are shared by both male and female.

Nesting cycle

About 20 weeks

Today, there are an estimated 9,789 breeding pairs of bald eagles.

Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward.

Causes of death

Fatal gun shot wounds, electrocution, poisoning, collisions with vehicles, and starvation.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm
iso 200, spot metered, F9.0, 1/500 second

In love with Ma Nature! Always have been, always will be. Let’s keep her safe, eh?

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  • Wanda Dumas
    Wanda Dumasover 3 years ago

    Fantastic capture! He does not look like a happy bird, almost rather viscious!

  • Many. many thanks, Wanda! She definitely does not look happy at all. Probably wondering how to tear a lump off the keeper! :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • Fred Mitchell
    Fred Mitchellover 3 years ago

    Excellent and interesting commentary

  • Greatly appreciated, Fred. I wasn’t too thrilled about the birds being put on display like that, but it was quite educational and nice to see them up close.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Dorothy Thomson
    Dorothy Thomsonover 3 years ago

    Love it Mike!!

  • Thanks so very much, Dorothy, and many thanks, too, for the fave! She had her eye on a pair o’ wee broon dugs……

    – Mike Oxley

  • stickelsimages
    stickelsimagesover 3 years ago

    Fantastic Mike
    love the title & who would dare say that they might!!!!
    Regal raspberry indeed mate
    Well done
    Cheers Lee

  • Greatly appreciated, Lee, and many thanks for your very kind words. I’d surely be more than a little reluctant to answer the lady, one way or another!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Sprezzatura
    Sprezzaturaover 3 years ago

    I love how you have captured the raptor intensity. Excellent eye detail, Mike. I think I’d blow a raspberry, or two, at confinement:) Cat

  • Many thanks for the lovely comment, Cat, and the compliment of the “fave”, too. The Parc states that all the birds have been raised in captivity and none were taken from the wild. Still, it just doesn’t quite sit right with me. But it was educational and it was nice to see them up close.

    – Mike Oxley

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 3 years ago

    Yes, they do. And if you think this is bad, wait until you grow up. Altogether now ~ Tit-Willow as sung by Sam the Eagle….

  • Oh, great! Now the poor bird’s going to have a complex andhave to get one of those do it yourself rhinoplasty kits off e-bay. Tit willow, indeed! :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

    Beautiful colorful feathering Mike…wtg

  • Thanks so very much, Larry, and thanks for accepting it into the group. Much appreciated!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Jan Siemucha
    Jan Siemuchaover 3 years ago

    Beautiful capture, of this Gorgeous bird !

  • Many, many thanks for your very kind words, Jan, and I greatly appreciated the lovely compliment of the “fave”, too! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • Much appreciated, Ray!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Jan Clarke
    Jan Clarkeover 3 years ago

    Lol! “No, not at all, my dear, those fine feathers and beautiful colours make your neck look very elegant!”
    \Beautiful capture, Mike – gorgeous light and a very attractive bird, nice detail around the head.

  • LOL! I’m sure she’ll find your word most encouraging, Jan! Thanks for the lovely comment and the compliment of the “fave”! Greatly appreciated, my friend!

    – Mike Oxley

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