On a typical day of photographing wildlife, I typically take between 400-700 photos. Now within all those images, I probably will focus on 3-4 and apply my normal editing. You might say to yourself there has to be more than 3-4 image keepers....right? Of course! I enjoy going back into my archive and digging through old images and finding other gems! It keeps me busy on rainy days.
This photograph is one of my top three wildlife photographs. It was shot down the Homer Spit in Alaska. Homer... what a gorgeous gorgeous little town located in the Kenai Peninsula. The town is well known for it being the halibut capital of the world! Let me ask you something, if you're one of the largest fishing areas and just so happen to be in Alaska, what or who else would more interested in the halibut than me? ( I ate it 3 times a day for 4 days) Bald Eagles. Now, prior to going to Alaska, a pilot from Homer Air said to me on the phone, "Man if you go outside and throw a rock and you don't hit a bald eagle, then you're an idiot!" Right then and there, I crapped myself. I watched these beautiful birds just pick apart fish carcasses within 10 feet of me. They had no interest in humans at all. How could you blame them? With halibut tacos in front of me, nothing else mattered in the world. In fact, when I was sleeping in the RV on the Spit one night, a bald eagle actually landed on top of the RV. You can hear his massive talons on the rough. His fierce screeching calls woke up in a panic. I said to myself "this can't be real life!"
After walking around hundreds of Eagles, this guy stuck out to me. Why? Well, if you look closely, it still has markings from his immature stage. If you look at the photo below, this is prime example of a 2nd year bald eagle. You can see his iris is beginning to transform into yellow and the plumage is become starting to increase.
Our eagle at the top is in it's very final stages of becoming an adult bald eagle. Now, I have never seen a photograph at this stage. I've seen plenty of 3-4th year bald eagles but never with this little amount of white spotting on him. He successfully became one of the most badass creatures on the planet, and I am very privileged to have the opportunity to photograph him in the wild.