Eagles Fighting Over Food - Copyright Scott Bourne 2011 - All Rights Reserved

Eagles Fighting Over Food - Copyright Scott Bourne 2011 - All Rights Reserved

See Part I of my Alaska Eagle Trip Diary here:

See Part II of my Alaska Eagle Trip Diary here:

The first full day of shooting eagles in Alaska produced some great photography opportunities for me. I’m working off the amazing Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska. This has to be one of the most photographically rich and diverse places in North America.

We had great weather today. Mind you it wasn’t great BEACH weather, but for a photographer it was great. We had everything from snow to overcast skies, high thin clouds and finally sun.

Since we spent almost the entire first day working from boats, it was nice that the ocean was smooth, more so in the morning than afternoon. Thankfully I don’t get sea sick so it’s no big deal either way.

My primary job here is to shoot video and stills of Bald Eagles. (Haliaeetus leucocephalus.) Thankfully it’s pretty easy to do in this location. Alaska boasts the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles. With a wing-span of up to seven feet and the ability to see for more than a mile, this bird of prey has found it’s ideal home in the 586,400 miles that make up Alaska.

Now that’s a land mass about 1400 miles long by 2700 miles wide. So where do you look? That’s where research comes in. With the help of an ornithologist and some decent ornithology skills of my own, I’ve narrowed down some of the great places to photograph eagles. Of course time of year is important too. Unless you know when to come, where to go is only half the battle.

Copyright Robert O'Toole

We have received all the necessary permits to go to the Seldovia Village Tribe reservation and other locations near Homer, Alaska. Some of these I have to keep secret for fear that the spots would be overrun, but the general area is the Kenai Peninsula overlooking the Kenai Mountains.

Why eagles? As an American, the Bald Eagle is the national bird and a natural draw for me. But even non-Americans are drawn to the power of this bird. I’m here to speak for the eagles and it will be an honor to tell their stories. That’s about as simply as I can put it.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world. Let us cherish and protect those wild places and the creatures that inhabit them.”

Eagles have come back from near extinction, but they are not out of the woods yet. The goal of this trip is to memorialize the eagle and it’s impact on Alaska and the nation. I hope my images and efforts do them justice.

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