The Proud Papa

I remember the exact time and place I saw my first Bald Eagles. It was years ago in a state park near the shores of Lake Erie in northwest Ohio. Back then, Bald Eagles were far and few between.

I am so glad that they have been able to make a comeback thanks to the banning of pesticides like DDT and proactive conservation efforts. In fact, the Bald Eagle was removed from the endangered and threatened species list in 2007.

Still, I thrill at the sight of seeing Bald Eagles. I never tire of watching and photographing them. This particular Bald Eagle brought extra-special joy. My wife and I explored a park in northeast Florida, searching for shorebirds. A passerby on the trail told us about an eagle sitting on a nest in a tall southern pine overlooking the marsh. Of course, we hustled out and quickly found the huge nest several hundred yards south of a boardwalk that ran over the marsh to a river.

We could easily see the eagle’s head sticking above the nest using binoculars. That familiar thrill returned, just like every other Bald Eagle sighting. However, the eagle’s mate was nowhere to be seen. That changed when we visited again this week.

Mother eagle kept her two chicks warm while Dad proudly sat on a limb above the nest. He moved a couple of times, and I was fortunate to get this hand-held shot with my long lens fully extended to 1,365mm. I snapped several pictures, knowing that some of the photos would be blurry.

When I downloaded the shots to my laptop, I was shocked to see this clear photo, even when I cropped it. The beautiful bird was far away and I braced my elbows on the walkway’s railing to capture the shot.

If you are interested, you can watch the eagles via a cam from the American Eagle Foundation at this link.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2022

Author: Bruce Stambaugh

Writer, marketer, columnist, author, photographer, birder, walker, hiker, husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, township trustee, converted Anabaptist, community activist, my life is crammed with all things people and nature and wonder. My late father gave me this penchant for giving and getting the most out of life, my late mother the courtesy, kindness, and creativity to see the joy in life. They both taught me to cherish the people I am with. I try and fail and try again.

6 thoughts on “The Proud Papa”

  1. Oh boy Bruce, it’s such a thrill to see them close by. I peek in on that nest and many more daily via internet. You have a beautiful image here. As you can tell I watch our local pair almost daily here in Ohio.

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