Northbound Eagle

When the days begin to lengthen in February and March I like to stop at Mounds Park in St. Paul. The park offers a classic overlook of the Mississippi River as it flows by downtown St. Paul.

Juvenile bald eagle, Mounds Park in St. Paul. 500mm w/1.4x.

There’s usually a good chance of spying a bald eagle following the river north to claim a nest. That’s especially true now that eagles have made such a vigorous comeback from the endangered list. Populations have increased so dramatically that seeing an eagle is no longer a rare occurence. Heck, they’re almost common and Mounds is a good place to see one.

I almost didn’t see this juvenile. He flew by one day while I was staring at an adult baldy sitting in a tree right next to the overlook, about 25 feet away. Bald eagles get their distinctive adult feathers at about age 5 when they become sexually mature. I don’t know how old this guy is, but it’s safe to say he hasn’t given much thought to finding a mate and settling down to raise a family. He was probably heading north simply because his genetic programming told him to do it.

Shot him with a 500mm with an 1.4x cheater attached.

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