Holding Firm

Martin Smart

Nanaimo, Canada

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Artist's Description

Best viewed large

Canon 40D
1/400sec f8 ISO 400
500mm lens + 1.4x converter

3rd Place in the Predators and Prey Challenge in the Wild Nature Photography & Writing Group

Featured in “The World As We See It, or as we missed it” March 2011
Featured in “High Quality Animal Images” March 2011
Featured in “The Birds” March 2011
Featured in “All Things Aquatic” April 2011
Featured in “Canadiana” May 2011
Featured in “Images of Endearment” April 2012

A magnificent Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) returning to its nest with a recently caught fish, which I believe is a Plainfin Midshipman (Porichthys notatus), clenched firmly in its talons.
These particular fish spend most of their time in fairly deep water but during the summer spawn in the intertidal zone. The males excavate a burrow under a flat rock, to which a female attaches eggs, which the male then guards until after hatching. By some method Bald Eagles, and also Ravens, are able to extract these guard males during low tides. During good low tides some eagles bring a midshipman to the nest every 15-20 minutes. Obviously this particular Bald Eagle believes in serving a healthy balanced diet to its young eaglets – as you will see, a few strands of seaweed are attached to the fish providing the vegetable portion of the meal!!

Photographed off the east coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Artwork Comments

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