Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Big Bird

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I received a few phone calls this afternoon about a big bird down on the ice off of Front Street.




People thought it was a hawk or an eagle and they wanted me to go take some photos. I headed down to the ice and I was surprised that he was still out there.




He was just hanging out pissing off the seagulls and looking at that dog.




And then the dog fell through the ice.




The bird was probably thinking "Stupid dog".




And then the dog made it out.




It was attracting quite a bit of attention from people on the street.




I had the lens zoomed to 200mm and then I cropped the photos as closely as possible so that it would be easier to see what kind of bird it is.




Unfortunately he was a bit outside my range so the photos aren't that great.




At first, looking at the photo on the lcd screen of my camera, I thought that it was a Rough Legged Hawk.




The coloring was kinda similar and he really didn't look all that big at first. I showed the lcd display to one of the ladies at the Park Service and she thought hawk too.




Now that I have looked at the photos more closely on the computer I don't really think that he looks so much like a Rough Legged Hawk.




His beak and his feet are huge.




I'm thinking more along the lines of a juvenile Bald Eagle.




I have seen several adult Bald Eagles along the Noatak River, one even as far down river as Paul's Slough, but I have never seen one in town.



So anyone (KC???), who knows raptors better than I do can chime in here and let us know if this was a juvenile Bald Eagle.

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25 comments:

Tracy said...

He does look big, especially when compared to the dog in the picture. LOL

KC said...

Juvi Rough Legged Dark morph? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh. I really don't think it probably is. There would be more white in the wing linings. And a better developed band in the tail underlining, and tail. Darker wrists. And this feels more like a bald eagle.
Meterviyagauyugnarquq. It's probably a little eagle. :)

I like ducks, though. So don't `don't quote me if I'm wrong.` :)

Laura K said...

Being from Alaska also, and having spent lots of time in the Homer area, it's a juvenile Bald Eagle. Too much white to be a Golden Eagle. Looks exactly like the picture of a juvenile Bald Eagle in the Sibley Guide. Very nice pictures!!!

Ms. ~K said...

Amazing photos!
I'm not sure what it is but I'm certainly glad someone called you so you could share this incredible bird w/ us!

Anji Gallanos said...

Young Bald Eagle I would say. Great photos!!

Trish said...

I have no idea........but those pictures are SOOOOOOOOO cool!

Liz said...

Cool photos, majestic bird, silly doggie! Thanks for trekking out to get photos for us.

pussreboots said...

I love all your photo posts but this one is especially amazing. I tweeted about it.

Anonymous said...

we have many a hawk in oklahoma, none that look like him.

Rocksee said...

Holy Crap that is cool!

Kathy said...

Wonderful photos of the Immature Bald Eagle! Big yellow feet and that beak, so well contrasted with the ice, give him away!
Kathy
Birdingrvers.com

marymi said...

It is a juvenile Bald Eagle and great pictures of him too!!

Anonymous said...

what are you talking about the pictures are not very good! those are AWESOME photos!! it looks cold there...tell my 'real' friend i say hi. :) and hi to you, when you heading down this way??

Ishmael said...

Yeah, it sure looks like an adolescent baldy.

Joe said...

Looks like a golden eagle.

Lisa said...

Really great photos!

Anonymous said...

You lost me on the bird at "And then the dog fell through the ice." I no longer CARED about the bird. And then, you saved me two pictures later. I think the dog should have just EATEN the damn bird, after that.

CD

eagleman said...

cathy i'm a VT transplant since 1971. Nice digitals--what was the BEagle eating something on ice in front of it. am

Cathy said...

Eagleman-

People have been doing a lot of fishing for sheefish through the ice lately. When they catch something they will often filet the fish right away leaving the guts, head and backbone out on the ice. The seagulls usually eat the left overs but this day the eagle was eating it too.

madderhatter said...

Definitely a juvenile Baldy - gonna be a big one too ! It's probably a good thing he wasn't real hungry or the dog in the water would have been in for a hurtin'. Excellent pics !

Anonymous said...

THAT MY FRIENDS IS A YOUNG BALD EAGLE. MY NEXT SUMMER HIS WHITE FEATHERS WILL START TO COME IN. GLAD TO SEE THE SHEPHERD MIX MADE IT OUT OF THE WATER!

Anonymous said...

Cathy,
Thanks for the great pictures. I can't believe that you now have open water. When I left Kotzebue on April 23rd, there was still 5-6 feet of ice! Will boats be in the picture soon?
Thanks again for sharing with us.
Keith

Finnskimo, its more than just a name... said...

Stupid EAGLE has me clamoring for photos...as he's taunting me right outside Chad's office window...like regular lens distance. Ugh.

:)

Cathy said...

I know. I just came back from letting the dogs run up by the base and on the way back across the runway I saw him sitting out behind NANA on the ice. I took another couple photos of him but he was kinda far.

Anonymous said...

Love your photos! You tuupaq me when the dog fell through!