I go out to Loch Raven Reservoir, Maryland a lot and bald eagles are a common sight; however, they are seldom close enough for decent photos. These aren’t much better, but I was excited enough about them to post, and to spread the word that there are as many 12 of them wintering at Loch Raven this year.
I counted four adults and a juvenile today, about 2 miles upstream from the dam, but a trusted friend reports counting 12 in the same area on January 29, 2015.
For any readers that are local, park your car at the T-intersection of Providence Road and Loch Raven Drive, then walk down Loch Raven Drive in the direction of the bridge. About 50 yards down, stay alert and scan the trees on both sides of the reservoir.
The eagles are spending most of their time perched in the trees surveying waterfowl that are congregated on a large ice formation just off the northern bank. From my observations, about twice an hour, one or more of the eagles leave their perches and fly a couple of circuits above the ice.
Each time they launched, they made a number of chirping calls to one another. The bald eagle chirp sounds birdy, but mixed with the tone of screeching metal and the sound a dog makes when you step on their paw.
I know that sounds like a humorous description, so head on over to the Audubon website and have a listen before you go out. Being familiar with their calls will help alert you to their flight activity.
Read one of my first posts, Bald Eagle Steals Fish.
Local readers: see Maps & Notes for viewing tips