Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bald Eagles

It is actually quite shameful that I live so close to the largest congregation of bald eagles in the world and I have never attempted to photograph them. I finally booked our tickets and this past weekend Gaye and I checked them out.
Apparently they are having a mild winter in Alaska this year, so rather than seeing 5,000 eagles plus, we kind of saw hundreds sporadically here and there. There would be ten eagles in a tree here and five eagles there, then 30-40 on the flats. If you added them up, there were likely a thousand or so over the span of a couple miles, but it certainly wasn't as spectacular a sighting as I thought it would be. Still, considering that the most eagles I have ever seen in the past was one here and there if I was lucky while photographing bears, it was quite impressive all the same.

In the Fraser Valley, they are trying to protect the eagles' habitat by discouraging people from invading the area (the flats) where the eagles congregate in the greatest numbers. Eagles come to this area from all over the north (Mainly Alaska and Northern Canada) to feed on the carcasses of hundreds of thousands of salmon that have returned to the river, spawned and died.

Unfortunately many outdoor enthusiasts don't know or don't care that the eagles need to feed undisturbed. They may not realize that they are interrupting a critical time in the year where the eagles need to feed, much like the bears need to eat vast amounts before they hibernate. On the bright side, since man stopped using DDT's the eagles' numbers have been on the rise and I don't think we need to be nearly as concerned about their extinction as a species anymore, but just like all other animals we do need to respect their habitats so they can continue to thrive.

I am working on my eagle portfolio and will continue to add to it over the coming weeks.

I am already working on my next safari. It is my favourite trip of the year when I go up to Wapusk National Park to photograph the polar bear moms and cubs. We had our best year in 2013 and I'm hoping that trend continues. I will be blogging as often as possible in March during my ten day polar bear safari.

In the meantime, I have a wildlife photography exhibit up in Scotia Place (10060 Jasper Avenue) until January 17th, 2014. I also have a polar bear exhibit running at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital  (10230 111 Avenue, NW) until the end of January, 2014. Both exhibits are free to the public, so come on down and check them out. If you know any wildlife enthusiasts, my prints and cards make great Christmas presents. :) Hint, hint...

Also my new additions to my Harvey Wildlife Photography greeting card line are doing quite well. To see the cards, click on the link above and you can see the front, inside and back of the cards. Or you can visit the following Retail Stores:

In Edmonton:
Wildbird General Store- 4712- 99 street
Jake's Framing
The Art Company Ltd- 8730-51 ave.
Wild Earth Bakery- 8902-99street.
Glenrose Corner Store in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
McKinney's Convenience Store in Scotia Place
Made In Canada

In Churchill:
Eskimo Museum
Wapusk General Store
Churchill Northern Studies Centre