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Patience Required, Eagle Eye Optional

by Ray Wright

Never harass the eagle.  If you want to see him fly, just wait. My wife and I have found eagles along the Hudson River from West Haverstraw, at the Bowline Power Plant, to Jones Point. I have waited for for as long as two hours to get a picture of an eagle in flight.

Eagles are not afraid of you.  I usually get out of the car and get into a good spot to capture the photo. When I look through the lens, I try to make sure that there are no branches obscuring the eagles’ face. After each shot, I try to move closer.

It is much safer to have two people in the car since eagles are sitting in the trees and the driver’s eyes should be concentrating in the road.  Eagles don’t try to hide. In fact, they like an open view, like a dead tree or a hardwood tree with no leaves.

Binoculars are helpful since sightings will be at a distance.  Also, eagles soaring will certainly look better at a distance.  A good telephoto lens helps, but a cell phone camera at the right time in the right place can still capture some great eagle images.

Immature eagles are dark brown. In the next stage in their growth, they are a molten brown and white, before they develop a white head.  The body remains brown with white streaks.

A mature eagle (about 4 years old) has a white head with a brown body. The only difference between the male and female is that the latter is larger.

You have until the beginning of March to see the northern eagles that come here for the open water fishing.

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There are about four eagles nests in Rockland year round, but it is much easier to find the northern eagles since there are so many of them in a limited season (Dec. – March).

All of these photos were taken in northern Rockland county.

Photo Credit: ©2014 Ray Wright

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