Notes and observations from a photographer and cultural interpreter living on Canada's east coast.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Where Eagles Soar
There are few feelings quite like looking skyward and catching a glimpse of the broad, straight wings of a bald eagle high overhead(Haliaeetus leucocephalus). These strikingly beautiful and majestic birds of prey are relatively common around the coasts and waterways of Newfoundland and Labrador; they're well suited to life here, since appropriately enough they fish for a living. They can be spotted waiting patiently in trees or on
rocky outcrops, scanning for the flash of a fish moving through the water near the surface, then swooping low, flaring wings and tail to apply the brakes, and striking quickly. The resulting prize may be devoured right away at a favourite spot nearby, or carried back to a huge, unkempt-looking nest to feed recently hatched young.
During the winter months, they tend to congregate where there is open water or another readily available food source; in the
St. John's area, that means Quidi Vidi Lake with its ready selection of ducks and huge aggregation of gulls. Both adults and juveniles can be found here, like these two youngsters scuffling just above the ice of the lake. The return of summer means the birds are more widely spread across the landscape, since food is more readily available in open water. Keep an eye to the sky, and you just might catch sight of one of Newfoundland and Labrador's resident bald eagles.