Eagles

My trip to Juneau to activate my Verizon phone calmed the itch to move on.  The longest I have ever stayed in one spot was last December/January when I was in northern Florida.  My stay here in Haines is a week shy of that lengthy visit with friends.  The trip down on the ferry… was a sleepy one. Arriving there at 3 in the o’dark thirty in the morning, got off the ship and attempted to snooze in the ferry terminal.  Re-boarded a different ferry at 7 am, headed back to Haines. Gorgeous, gorgeous trip, but no pictures, as my camera was dead… oh hum…  Saw whales, crystal clear skies, seas had a bit of a bounce but all was well.  The mountains were stunning!

Can not find my charger for my regular camera… Oh I so wish I had it today.  The Eagle Festival happened this week minus the eagles. Weird but true. First time ever that thousands of eagles did not descend on Haines.  Most blame it on the warm weather, but seriously haven’t they had warm weather on any other year?   Today’s photos were taken up on Mile 19 of the Haines Highway, north of Haines.  They had 2 young eagles to be released today.

Not much snow

The little mountains east of the Chilkat River.  Not much snow to speak of, but its only just beginning to freeze in Haines… and its been clear since it colder.

Nature’s best art

Looking up Chilkat River 

Local tribe dancing for eagles

Orca dance

Looking west across Chilkat River
And then the sun dropped behind the mountains… the chill factor and making it darker added dimensions most picture taking public frowned at, as the eagles had not been released yet.  It being juvenile eagles – they are dark, no white bald head or tail feathers.  I completely missed the first eagle, these two images are of the second juvenile eagle.

Juvenile eagle sitting on table just as he began to lift off

In flight, but a lousy picture

But what a thrilling sight to see both of the birds take flight.  Both eagles had been burned and they recovered in Anchorage at the Bird center there. Alaska Air Lines flew them free to Haines to be released back into the wild.  They apparently had been burned from landing on high powered electrical lines.  Once they molted and grew new feathers, all was ready for them to be released.

For those that do not see eagles often, I’m sure today was a special day.  There were eagles in trees, out on the river fishing on the late run of salmon. So there were plenty to admire.  For me though… I’ve seen far more congregate in places I have lived over the years.  Nonetheless… it was such a gorgeous day, it really did not matter that the numbers were quite low.  

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