The Travels of Tug 44

Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle, America's Nation Bird and symbol. This one was collecting sticks for nest building, in a back yard along the Hudson River in Fort Edward NY.   high-res

Another Bald Eagle, flying along the Hudson River, looking for food. Fish is their favorite meal.   high-res

This Bald Eagle was hunting the Hudson River just below the Troy Dam, in tidal waters. They frequent this spot mostly at low tide, when the water is only a few feet deep and the fish are easier to spot from the air. The Eagle just caught a nice fat fish.   high-res

Generally when there are a number of Eagles fishing the same spot, the Eagle catching a fish will try to conceal it under the bird's tail. That is because the other Eagles will immediately attack and try to steal the fish.   high-res

But today there was only this Eagle and its mate ... so this time he flew in circles all around the area, proudly displaying his catch, and impressing his mate.   high-res

On a dark drizzly day this Bald Eagle couple are busily repairing their old nest from last year, getting ready for a new brood. Dad spent his day bringing in sticks he collected and Mom arranged them just so. She is very picky, any stick that doesn't meet her specifications ... she tosses over the side.   high-res

After a hard day's work, the couple sits next to each other, discussing eagle stuff ... just like any married couple might do. It's late in the day and they will likely roost there for the night.   high-res

Some months later, they have a mostly-grown chick. While the adults are away, the chick spends a lot of time flapping the wings, and building up strength for when it can fly.   high-res

Bald Eagle chicks are dark and mottled and do not develop the white head and tail until they are sexually mature at age 4-5. They are the same size as the adults.   high-res

This one was posing for his selfie. :)   high-res

This Bald Eagle is a juvenile but can fly and feed himself. He may spend time with his parents and may come back to visit the nest were he was hatched.   high-res

When winter arrives in the North Country, the rivers and lakes are frozen over and Eagles cannot catch fish, so what do they do for food? They hunt any small animal, and even go for road kill. This Bald Eagle is landing on a pile of roadkilled deer that the County DPW puts out on the river ice specifically for them.   high-res

The Bald Eagle is the apex predator and he rules the roadkill, and the crows scatter. He is definitely in charge here.   high-res

However, the crows do not respect the juvenile Bald Eagles at all, and they keep trying to sneak in and harrass the Eagle and steal the food. They have no problem biting the young Eagle's tail. His wings and tail are quite ragged from crow attacks.   high-res

After much flapping and screeching, the crows do back up for about 30 seconds, and then they come right back. The juvenile does not get to eat his meal in peace.   high-res

And then an adult Bald Eagle arrives and the crows vanish. He is king of the river and he does get to eat in peace.   high-res

The Bald Eagle, America's National Bird.

Erie Canal   -   Champlain Canal   -   Hudson River   -   Canal History

  Lighthouses   -   Canal Corp Boats   -   Tugboats & Trawlers

Tug 44 Home Page