Bald Eagles of Loch Raven

Bald Eagles of Loch Raven Part V

The adult bald eagle in the featured image is one of the adults that were flying with the two juveniles discussed in Part IV. This photo was shot about 90 minutes after their talon-locking, and misadventure on thin ice.

I watched the group depart Goose Island, one-by-one over the course of about two hours. I caught this eagle in a burst of afternoon sunlight, and it made the image a decent shot despite its range.

A bald eagle over Loch Raven Reservoir, Maryland – February 4, 2015

The photo of the adult perched in a tree was taken on February 3, 2015 near Loch Raven Drive, and I strongly suspect it is also one of the adults that were with the two juveniles.

I don’t really want to guess if this is the male or the female, because I just don’t know. I’m not a biologist, and even if I were, I’d probably have to measure the depth of the beak, or some other part of its anatomy to tell if it is a male or female.

A bald eagle perched Loch Raven Reservoir, Maryland  – February 3, 2015

The video features one of the juveniles scavenging for fish about an hour after the talon-locking and thin ice incident.

I watched him depart Goose Island before the others, and make a few circuits over the ice. The juvenile swung low and began striking at a particular spot in the ice.

Again, my view was partially obstructed by tree limbs, but this time I was able to maneuver for a slightly clearer shot. I was able to photograph his second pass and discovered he had been opening a hole in the ice.

He plucked a fish from the hole, but left it on the ice and flew to the other side of the reservoir. I’m sure it was dead because it didn’t flop around. Besides, I’m certain that an eagle breaking open a hole in the ice would send any live fish darting away.

Apparently the ice was transparent enough for the eagle to spot the fish, but why go to all that trouble just to discard it?

These are interesting birds, and I’m obviously becoming very fond of them. I hope this particular group decides to stay for the summer.

I also hope you enjoy the slide show/video; you’ll probably have a better experience watching it full screen.

NOTE: The high numbers of bald eagles we had last week appears to have dwindled. My guess is that we had a few extra eagles in transit last week, or just temporary visitors from the Conowingo Dam.

Approximate Location

I was standing near the top of the ridge that rises from the west side of the bridge, overlooking Goose Island and the wide part of the reservoir.

 Read Part IV of Bald Eagles of Loch Raven

Read Part III of Bald Eagles of Loch Raven

Read Part II of Bald Eagles of Loch Raven

Read Part I of Bald Eagles of Loch Raven

Local readers: See Maps & Notes for viewing tips