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A Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) snatches a herring from the waters of a cold Southeast Alaska fjord.

Spring signals the run of great shoals of Pacific herring intent upon spawning in Southeast Alaska waters. Predators such as whales, sea lions and birds including hundreds and even thousands of bald eagles congregate wherever the silvery fish are found in immense numbers. Since spawning activity takes place in relatively shallow waters, when herring swim near the surface alert bald eagles swoop down to grab unsuspecting herring with their talons. Scrappy birds that are often more adept at scavenging than hunting, bald eagles often chase other eagles or gulls that nab a herring, attempting to force the other bird to drop its fishy prize.

Abundant throughout the state of Alaska, the bald eagle population is also growing throughout North America from the US/Mexico border well into northern Canada. In the past hunting decimated the big birds’ numbers. Additionally, pesticides wreaked havoc with bald eagle reproduction, causing their population to plummet. However, the good news is that since hunting eagles was declared illegal and pesticide use was restricted in the early 1970s the birds have rebounded in numbers. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List places bald eagles in the category of Least Concern. Through reintroduction into former habitats and an increasing population bald eagles have a successful tale to tell.

Southeast Alaska, USA

May 3, 2012

Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens, Canon 1.4 extender, 1/1600, f/5.6, Focal length 192mm, ISO 200, tripod

This, That and the Other Thing, May 26, 2012
Live and Let Live, May 27, 2012
America the Beautiful, May 27, 2012
If It Moves, Shoot It, May 28, 2012
The Birds, May 30, 2012
Colourists, June 2, 2012
Eagles and Ospreys Only, June 22, 2012

It is my sincere wish that visitors to my portfolio experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Moreover my hope is that my photographs will inspire viewers to be proactive toward the protection of wildlife and its habitat, those efforts ultimately making a far better world for all beings.

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  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonover 2 years ago

    Natures Paintbrush

    BEAUTIFUL work,

  • Ann, thank you for the warm welcome! Cheers, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • dgscotland
    dgscotlandover 2 years ago

    Superb capture.

    Click the banner to take you to the group. Your work is welcome here and please enjoy it.

  • Thank you for accepting this eagle into your group! Glad you liked this. Best, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeover 2 years ago

    Beautiful catch and capture. What a wonderful sight.

  • Thank you, Bunny! Boy these eagles are fast when they stoop to nail a fish. Phew! They gave me a workout…:-)) G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Sinclere
    Sinclereover 2 years ago

  • This is terrific news. Thank you for the very welcome Feature! Best, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Sally Griffin
    Sally Griffinover 2 years ago

    spectacular shot!!! we are so fortunate to have them on the lake where we live. fabulous capture!

  • Thank you, Sally! Eagles are indeed wonderful to have living nearby. Near my home in Illinois an eagle pair has nested this year. It’s the first bald eagle nesting in the county in over 100 years so this has generated a great deal of excitement. Personally I consider the presence of the eagles a blessing upon us all. Thanks for dropping by. Great hearing from you! Best, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Dlouise
    Dlouiseover 2 years ago

    Very beautiful work Gina!!

  • Thank you so much for your kind words! Best, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesover 2 years ago

    2012/05/27 1 Image per 24hrs

  • Hi, Magaret! I’m glad to be accepted in your group. Cheers, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Kay Cunningham
    Kay Cunninghamover 2 years ago

    Beauty Gina!

  • Kay, most appreciative thanks! Best, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Qnita
    Qnitaover 2 years ago


  • I’m happy to be a part of your world! Thanks much, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Carla Maloco
    Carla Malocoover 2 years ago

    Fantastic work

  • Carla, thank you very much! Best to you, G

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

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