No matter how slowly and silently I move, a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) seems to sense my presence very quickly and immediately takes to the air. It’s really not that surprising, given the eagle’s amazingly keen eyesight that lets it spot prey from a long distance away.
Last weekend I spotted this Bald Eagle when it was perched atop a broken-off tree. Most of the previous times the stationary eagles that I have seen have been sitting on branches. When they took off, they seemed to push off of the branch a bit to gain some forward momentum.
In this case, the eagle appeared to initially push in an upward direction to gain a little height before flapping its powerful wings. Here are a few shots that show some of the stages of the takeoff process.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.