An American Patriotic Symbol

Recently my husband and I took a drive along Maryland’s Eastern Shore, spending a couple hours driving along the wildlife drive at Blackwater NWR in Cambridge.  It felt wonderful to be out and about with nature, and it had been a couple years since I had last visited.  I was super-excited to say the least!

I was fortunate to get the chance to photograph several birds and a few animals, but nothing compared to the close-up opportunity of this gorgeous American Bald Eagle.

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This majestic bird was conveniently perched in a tree right alongside the wildlife drive.  It can’t get any better than that!


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Blackwater NWR hosts over 150 American Bald Eagles during the winter, as well as hosts one of the largest breeding populations of American Bald Eagles in the country.  We were fortunate to see about a dozen or so other Bald Eagles off in the distance flying, perched in trees, or on the ground along the water.


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A even closer close-up……

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We were preparing to move on when he/she decided to take flight.

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The American Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that.  Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, American Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.

I still get chills seeing one as if it’s my first time.  And when they are close enough for photo ops, WOWSA!


55 thoughts on “An American Patriotic Symbol

  1. The American Bald Eagle is such a beautiful bird, majestic and symbolic of strength and power. Your photos are fantastic! Thank you Donna! 🙂

      • Surprisingly, we’re beginning to see them near our house. Sometimes they compete with the ospreys for roosting space – on the nest boxes in early spring, no less! They don’t last long at that game, though. Osprey treat those boxes like their own private property, even if the eagles are there first. We’ve seen them as lately as last fall perching in a neighbor’s​ tall tree near the water. Pretty amazing sight.

  2. Magnificent photos Donna of your national symbol, such a great opportunity for you! It is such a delight to get such close up pics of raptors, especially in flight. I especially love the effect of the light in the splay of tail feathers. It reminds me of the original indigenous native (red Indian) head dress.

  3. What a great photo opportunity you were given. Yes, they are truly a majestic bird. We have been seeing them a lot lately in our travels but never close enough to capture a shot like yours. We had opportunity to be 20 feet from one that had just captured dinner but wouldn’t you know, the camera was at home. Isn’t photography like golf… its that one shot that keeps us coming back, lol.

  4. What a treat, Donna! It is exciting to see these magnificent birds and so close, WOWSA is right! Great portrait photos and wonderful to get the take off & in-flight shots, too.

  5. Awesome photos, Donna! I was at Blackwater two weeks ago, but only saw bald eagles from quite a distance, and I did not have a long enough zoom lens.

    • Thanks Hien! I was very fortunate, I too saw many at a distance. There use to be a really nice snag tree on the right on the last leg of the wildlife drive where you could almost count seeing one or two on it, but my husband and I both noticed that that snag was now gone. What a disappointment!

  6. Awesome photos Donna! These are truly magnificent birds. I was real lucky to catch sight of several in the wild while holidaying in Alaska several years ago, but they weren’t up close like this eagle was for you!

    • Thanks Sue! Of all the birds I captured that day, this was definitely my biggest thrill. They are so stunning! Wow, I’ve heard you can see hundreds perched around Alaska, my mouth would water at that sight for sure. 😉

  7. Wowza is right! What gorgeous images you were able to make, and that close up image is amazing! I still get a thrill as if it’s the first time seeing them too. I’m so glad they’re making a comeback!

    It’s good to read you’re getting out. Hope you’re mending and will soon be 100%! xx

  8. It’s always a good day when you get to see a Bald Eagle up close. I’m snatching a few moment whenever I can to check on our local eagle aerie. Still no sign of eaglets, but they’re probably down in the nest which has grown larger over the past 5 (?) years I’ve been watching it. This will likely be my last year to witness the fledglings bouncing around trying out their wings.

    • Isn’t it amazing how big those nests ‘grow’ in size?! I hope there are eaglets, especially if it’s likely to be your last year. You’ll just have to scouting your new location for a new eagle family to enjoy, right?! 🙂

  9. Absolutely wonderful shots of this majestic bird, Donna! I love to see them when they come over from the other side of the bay where they nest, but always hope they don’t see the osprey chicks.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous photos Donna. We kayaked the East Wye River today and saw at least a dozen, along with two nests with juveniles. Eagles are my favorite and I never tire of watching them.

  11. That is SO amazing that experience that you had! I will be going around this amazing country and some of Canada too very soon! That is NOT something you see every day- especially not in the wild!

  12. Pingback: An Eagle Vs. A Red-winged Blackbird | Photos by Donna

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