Final Day with the Bald Eagle Family
This past summer, I had the most amazing privilege of hanging out with an amazing family of Bald Eagles. I watched the babies grow, learn to fly and then eventually leave the nest. The entire experience was breathtaking. After my last visit where I saw Dad and two of the babies, I kept returning hoping to find all three babies and even get a glimpse of Mom. On one of my last days up there it finally happened. Despite nature and people doing everything they could to make it nearly impossible to survive this family did and they did it together. When I first showed up, I noticed Dad in one of his normal spots, overlooking the entire Mesa keeping an eye out for whatever dangers or food might pop up. Luckily for me Dad was not alone, out of the corner of my eye I noticed two huge birds flying in and I turned my camera to get a good look at them. Two of the three baby eagles, were flying in just east of the nest, landing on huge tree right above a pond.The tree they landed in was too far and too thick to get a good shot of them, so I turned around to see what Dad was up to and I got a huge surprise. I had been waiting for this moment ever since the babies took off, on a limb right next to the nest was the third baby eagle!Thats right this amazing family survived, all three babies made it, a rare and excited scene for this Eagle lover! Most Eagle pairs that have two or more eaglets will have a hard time keeping all of them alive, but this family survived and will hopefully keep those strong genes going in the Eagle population of our area. Now as exciting as this was my day was just getting starting, after photographing the third baby for a bit I turned back around to check out the other two who landed in a distant tree. As I walked to the other side of road I noticed some movement in the tree and I was hoping the other two would go join their sibling for a family shot. So I set up my camera fixated on the tree just waiting for them to come out. Within minutes I was treated to one hell of a show, as one of the eagles took off and flew by me, followed up by the other baby flying right at me and eventually over me. I couldn't believe how close they got to me, it was a jaw dropping moment that left me completely speechless.Watching these eagles grow up was an amazing experience I will never forget. I have been a fan of the majestic Bald Eagle my whole life and this past summer I got to witness their power, grace, and sheer resilience for life. These are the moments that we photographers live for and for me this moment will last a lifetime.