Black River Wisconsin bald eagle comeback
Bald eagles have made an amazing comeback in Wisconsin in the past two decades. I remember as a kid, I would feel lucky seeing one bald eagle on a weekend trip adventure in Wisconsin. Now, I would be shocked not to see several. This weekend canoeing on the Black River, I was not shocked as a healthy number of bald eagles were perched on trees adjacent to the river and swooped out over the river when spooked by my passing boat. Here is a Black River Wisconsin bald eagle photo essay to feature the photos taken on this trip.
Memorial Day tribute
Since today is Memorial Day, I figured it would be a fitting time for another bald eagle photo essay. Here is another one I did on another patriotic holiday, the Fourth of July. Many of these pictures come from nearby Wisconsin River.
Comparing Wisconsin and Black River
The Black River is just north of the Wisconsin River and flows into the Mississippi River in LaCrosse. Since it is only an hour or so away from the Lower Wisconsin River Valley, the rivers share some attributes including beautiful tree colored bluffs, sandbars, and many of the same flora including bald eagles.
The one difference between the two rivers is the Black River features more pine trees. The abundance of pine trees gives the Black River a more northern Wisconsin feel to it as it is on the southern fringe of the Wisconsin northwoods.
Black River Wisconsin bald eagle photo essay
It took me a couple of hours to see my first bald eagle, but after the trip cherry was broken, it seemed I saw one around every bend. I got some really nice pictures of the first one. My favorite is the one where I captured him just as he was taking off.
The last bald eagle of the trip was spotted by its nest near the 108 highway bridge near Melrose. I usually like to give bald eagles near a nest a wide birth, but since the tree in question was on the river bank and the river was not that wide at this juncture, there was no way to avoid. I thought that I heard noises from the nest, so there may have been eaglets in the nest. I could not investigate as the current was strong here, and I did not want to bother the adult.
Despite the fact that bald eagles have become nearly omnipotent on some rivers, I still get a thrill seeing them and it always adds to the adventure. Each time one flies off of a tree in front of my canoe, it takes my breath away.
How to be a bald eagle paparazzi
• Try and get the sun behind your back in order to capture the colors of the bald eagle
• If the sun is behind the eagle you will only get a silhouette of the bird, which is still a good picture – sometimes we are not able to choose where the sun is in relation to the bird
• Try and drift slowly up to the bird as paddling will scare it away
• Do not bother eagles near a nest – Take photographs from a safe distance away
• A zoom lens of course helps, but I have gotten good photos with a point and click camera if you can get close enough
• Eagles congregate at dams along the Mississppi, Illinois, and Wisconsin River when the rivers are frozen in the winter as dams keep the water from freezing over allowing eagles to hunt their favorite food –fish
• Go canoeing or kayaking on wild rivers and lakes
• The Wisconsin River and the Black River in Wisconsin are two great options in Wisconsin – Provincial Parks like Quetico and Algonquin are two great places in Canada
• Take many shots in order to get the good one – I included some of my failures to illustrate this point
• When the eagle flies away, take note where he lands as you may be able to try again
• Know when to say when – Don’t be an eagle stalker
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Amazing shots, Ted! I’ve always wanted to see a bald eagle in the wild. No luck as of yet. Maybe this fall or winter I’ll get the chance.
Jason recently posted..Skipping National Park Week
All you have to do is canoe a Wisconsin or Minnesota river next time you come home. I am surprised you have not seen one along Lake Superior.
what an awesome, and oh so handsome bird! You captured it so well ted. What zoom did u use? 🙂
I have a canon power shot SX150. Great for birding.
Eagle stalker… lol. Awesome shots, Ted. I’ve seen a bald eagle once or twice in my time but never close or well enough to take any pictures. Thanks for the tips!
Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..“Mom & Me” Weekend at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Eagles around North America thank you for asking people not to be eagle stalkers! What an awesome thing to observe these magnificent creatures – great shots, especially the last two against the blue sky.
Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..Photo Essay: Skiing in July
What an honour it must have been to be so close to these – have only ever seen them in photos!
Fiona recently posted..24 Hour Challenge: Bruges
This is amazing! What a majestic bird! I would love to see these out in the wild.
Erin – The World Wanderer recently posted..A Day in Old San Juan.