My New Best Friends…Two Bald Eagles!

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Over the last week or so we have started to see a couple of new visitors to Sea Ranch, namely two adult Bald Eagles.  I publish these images here primarily because this is my first “out-of-the-zoo” encounter with these majestic birds.  They are stunningly beautiful and totally captivating.  With a wingspan from 6’ – 8’ they almost dwarf the more common but still large turkey vulture with its 6’ wingspan.  These birds are huge!  

I shot these two down at the mouth of the Gualala River at the north end of Sea Ranch over the last three days.  It’s been a blast to track them and watch them soar and work the river for food.   My shoulders are sore from lugging my camera with its 70-200mm lens and 2x telextender attached.  I’m sure that I’ll get more images but I thought I would share these for now.  It’s too early to tell if they are just visiting or plan to take up residence here.  As I said earlier, they are both adults, but the sexes are basically indistinguishable so I can only guess that they are a pair. 

They often sit in a few tall dead trees along the river bank and while they are there, most of the smaller (and edible) waterfowl in the river are somewhere else.  As soon as the eagles leave, the ducks come back.  Seems like they do this little dance on and off throughout the day.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed capturing them. 

Equipment: Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70-200 mm lens with Nikkor TC-20 III telextender.  Monopod

Cautionary Note and Update:  Recent indications are  these two eagles may in fact be a breeding pair, and extreme caution should be taken to not disturb them.  The images presented here were taken at a fair distance with a 400mm telephoto lens.   Unless you have a long lens such as this, you’re probably going to be too close to safely photograph these birds.   Bring your binocs instead and give them the room they need to set up residence.  Thanks!!

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3 Responses to My New Best Friends…Two Bald Eagles!

  1. Deidre says:

    Magnificent. Please make a book of your images. I’d buy one for my favorite people.
    Unbelievable. You capture the wonder of these beautiful and graceful creatures.
    I remember feeling very fortunate when I saw eagles in Idaho. Now you know. Has Barbara seen them live?

  2. Chris Wendt says:


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