Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls

Bald Eagle portrait eagle_scream3524 snowy-owl3599Snowy Owl

 

 

short_eared_owl3671Short-Eared Owl eagle_fluffy3328Bald Eagle eagle_fight_23822Bald Eagles Fighting eagle_fight3823Mature Bald Eagle Fighting with Juvenile eagle_flight3863Bald Eagle in Flight eagle-land3910Bald Eagle Landing  snowy24280Female Snowy Owl snowy_takeoff4109Snowy Owl on Takeoff snowy_owl4110Snowy Owl Takeoff snowy_owl4048Snowy Owl on Driftwood snowy_flight4115Snowy Owl in Flight snowy_flight4113Snowy Owl in Flight

We just got back from a trip to the Seattle area and north to near the Canadian border to photograph Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls. The Eagles were feeding on the last of the Chum Salmon run on the Nooksack River and we saw over 50 eagles on the first day with the numbers decreasing the next day to less than 25. A week or two earlier there were over 100 or more in the area. They move from river to river where the most Salmon are located. Earlier they were more plentiful on the Skagit River.  The peak of the season is mid Dec to early Jan with as many as 200-300 in a short stretch of river.

The Snowy Owls only come down from Canada and Alaska in the Winter to the coastal areas of Washington state, Oregon, and all along the Northern US border. Last year the numbers were much greater ( an Irruption year) and there were not as many this year. The big numbers happen only every 5 years or so when the food supply in the North is low or a large number of Juveniles have to find new territories with more voles or mice to eat. It is necessary to keep your distance as they flush easily and your movements need to be very slow and gradual. These were shot on a Canon 7D with a 400 mm 5.6 lens. Toward sunset or early morning are the best times with softer light for the Snowy Owls.