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American Bald Eagles - La Crosse Wisconsin

Ah, the American Bald Eagle. The US national bird, majestic and beautiful. But, let's step outside the bounds of political correctness and tell the truth for once. He is also a scavenger, a vulture with hair, stupid as Foghorn Leghorn and mostly a fish eater. But with all his misconceptions, he is beautiful, powerful and there is simply nothing like him that flies in the air. He is also off the endangered species list, as of earlier this year, 2007. Anyone old enough to remember DDT and the story of their decline surely wept tears of joy to know that they have made a strong comeback. I know I did.

My earliest recollection of the Bald Eagle was seeing two of their carcasses nailed to the side of a barn by some bozo of a pig farmer outside of Rockford Illinois. I was 9 years and disgusted with the sight even then. Now, as then probably, they are protected. You can't even pick up one of their cast off feathers nowadays or you can be fined for it. All of this is good, I guess, until one of these birds snatches up someone's baby and carries it back to the nest. And they are certainly big enough to handle that task. Their feet and talons are strong enough to crush human adult arm bones and sharp enough to puncture arteries and veins which will bring a quick end to anyone who thinks to let one stand on his unprotected arm. So be very careful if you should happen on an injured Bald Eagle, don't try and just pick it up. Use heavy leather gloves if you have them, or drape a towel or blanket over the birds head and grasp the legs firmly first, then pick it up and hold it like a baby, on it's back and cradled in your arms so the wings can't flap, and do not let go of the legs.

Don't get me wrong, I love these birds, photographing them in flight is one of the ultimate joys of bird photography, but let's be frank, they are to be seen and not handled. Unless your some kind of nut job with a death wish. You don't pet Bald Eagles and talk baby talk to them like your little parakeet, they'll rip your face off and eat it if you try. So let's all just take pictures of them and stand back and leave the poor things alone to go about their business. And if you ever want to come take pictures like these of the Bald Eagle, contact me and I'll show you were to stand for images like these. Enjoy.

The images seen here are for sale. I will be adding a PayPal store soon, in the mean time, contact me for the RAW images or prints of these magnificent birds.