Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
I had a visitor on Saturday.  I have had many encounters with Bald Eagles in and around my yard, but this one was special.  He has found a perch on one of the small firs growing at the front edge of the property.

The lighting around this tree is not very good for photography.  The view of the photo is to the south.  Some of the problems photographing dark birds against a bright background are apparent.  Nevertheless, this eagle perched in my tree is a welcome sight.

There was once a wonderful eagles' hunting perch at the edge my neighbors' yard right next to mine.  The birds visited this tree almost daily.  It gave them a good view of Skagit Bay where they could scan the waters for fish.  I have had the privilege of watching them catch fish many times.  The tree also made a perfect photography subject, especially in the afternoon.  The visiting birds would be lit by the western sun.  I could position myself discretely on the far side of my yard and take pictures without disturbing them.

My neighbor had that tree cut down.  I am still bewildered by the profound ignorance and selfishness of such an act.  Significant damage was done to the habitat of northern Skagit Bay.  As you could guess, those people are not from around here.  They don't even live here.  They just show up once in a while to party.

Bald Eagle Habitat

The taller Grand Fir in this photo is the one used by the eagle above.  It's a young tree, only about 20-25 years old.  It's not tall enough to make a good hunting perch.  But I am pleased that the eagles feel comfortable using it.  In another fifty years or so, it should begin to make a suitable lookout for them.

This yard is part of the eagle's world.  I am really the one who is the visitor here.  That fact compels me to do as little harm to this world as possible.  It would seem the Bald Eagles approve.