River Ice as Perfect Perch for a Young Bald Eagle 13 March 2009
Bald Eagle and Saint Croix River
To photograph this cooperative, immature Bald Eagle as it picked from some fish remains frozen into the river, I crawled out onto the ice on my belly. It had been a cold winter, and the river ice was safe, but I did push my luck a little, given the late calendar date. Laying out on the ice distributed my weight across a greater surface area, and it may have also made my behavior, form, and approach much less recognizable to the bird as "human." The eagle was healthy, but it still allowed an unusually close approach. Perhaps my benefit was in the bird being naive. Perhaps the wild and scenic river had not yet taught the eagle to fear humans. My approach was always indirect, and I took a path that portrayed indifference, an indirect and zig-zag path made on my belly.