I met a nice young couple and their children, who live on a very large farm, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Five generations have lived here, which makes it a special place! They told me that on cloudy, rainy and/or foggy mornings that a Bald Eagle sits in a big old dead tree. As much as I love birds, I had yet to see a Bald Eagle in the wild, other than a juvenile, while kayaking in Pennsylvania some time ago. I lucked out! Sure enough, it was cloudy and as I drove up the long drive, I spotted a big black bird in the faraway tree. Tip toeing and acting sort of nonchalant, I slowly closed in on the Eagle. I was ecstatic! Here, for the very first time in my life, I was capturing the United States symbol in my zoom lens. She sat for a while and then flew off in a large circle and then came back for a touchdown. Once again, she flew off. Each time, I had my camera on him and was speed shooting, trying very hard not to let her out of my sight.
Once so plentiful Bald Eagles were designated America’s national symbol in 1782. However, Bald Eagles had become indirect victims of an insect-killing chemical that made their eggs so brittle, that they broke when females sat on them. Unable to successfully hatch a brood, Eagle populations nationwide slowly declined and ultimately disappeared from many areas.
Bald Eagles were very close to distinction in Pennsylvania. In 1983, there were only three known nests. Since then, they have made an incredible comeback. In June, 2007, there were 132 known nests and 150 Eaglets. The state’s largest concentrations of Eagle nests are along the lower Susquehanna River, the upper Delaware River basin and the wetland-dominated Pymatuning region in northwestern Pennsylvania. Bald Eagles prefer to nest near water. More and more are migrating from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.
What a day it was sighting this beautiful bird with my lens. It was a first for me and wow, she was majestic indeed!! This photograph was shot with a Canon 40D and a 300mm lens in West Chester, Pennsylvania.