Tagged With: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Bald Eagles in Lemon Creek

Bald Eagles in Lemon Creek

Bald Eagles in Lemon Creek

Well, we landed in Juneau after a long day of flights and layovers in Los Angeles and Seattle. We slept well and didn’t worry about getting up early (although I woke up at 7:00 anyway). We took a walk with the dogs in Lemon Creek, where Dorothy is living with our good friends, Brian and Lisa. The dogs, Kippen and Ayla, are border collies and are a lot of fun. The walk in Lemon Creek is surprisingly pretty for something so close to their house and it was nice to get out. The air was cool and it was raining very lightly but we knew what to expect and were ready for it. I got one photo with three bald eagles in it but I think this one is better. You can see the one at the top of the tree pretty easily but there is a second that’s not quite so obvious a little ways down on the right side of the same tree.

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Moth and Eagle

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea)

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

We had some out of town guest this weekend but they were here mostly to do the D.C. tourist thing. Late this morning the headed downtown to hit the museums and Cathy and I decided to go to the C&O Canal, walking northwest from Pennyfield Lock. It was a beautiful day, warmer than I prefer but only by a little. In the shade and particularly when there was a breeze it was lovely. We saw lots of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta), a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) and quite a few wildflowers. For today’s post I’m putting up two photos. The first is an ailanthus webworm moth (Atteva aurea) on a sunflower (Helianthus) of some sort. The larvae live in communal webs on their host trees. Interestingly, while they are thought to be native to South Florida, the ailanthus for which they are named (Ailanthus altissima, Tree of Heaven), is native to Northern China. It is believed that their original larval host was the paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) and Simarouba amara. It started moving north around the 1850s when introduced Ailanthus altissima contacted the moth’s native range.

The second photo is, as you have probably surmised, a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Cathy had walked a little further along and I waited in the shade at a pretty spot to take a few photos of the wildflowers there. While I was waiting for her to return I looked up and saw the eagle. I was able to point him out to a few others walking or biking on the canal but it was gone before Cathy returned. This isn’t the sharpest photo but it’s pretty clear what it is. The dark spot in the lower right is another bird. There were quite a few, flying fairly high in the sky.

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Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Cathy and I took a walk to Lake Frank this afternoon. We walked along the shore of the lake towards the northeast end. We saw a belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), which was nice. Then we rounded the point and had a good look at the bald eagle’s nest, which you can see in the trees here. As we were looking, one of the adult bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) flew off the nest and I was able to get a reasonable photo. We see these birds reasonably often and it’s good to be reminded of how big, majestic, and beautiful they are. We’re really privileged to have this pair nesting here year after year.

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Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

It’s been a good year for bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) sightings. A little under a month ago (see Sunday, February 27, 2022) I got a photo of one of the nesting eagles flying over the nest. Today one of them flew right over our heads and then landed in a tree on our side of Lake Frank. I wasn’t able to get an unimpeded view but I was able to get relatively close. I’d still be happy to have a longer lens but I think this is pretty nice. Of course we’d see these on a daily basis in Juneau, but around hear, this sort of sighting is still somewhat rare and exciting.

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