Friday, July 14, 2017

Ketchikan-Eagles and Bears #17

"Look, there's another one! And, another one!! And, another one!!!

Eagles seemed to be everywhere I looked.  One of the locals explained,

The American bald eagle loves Alaska, with populations so robust that it was never listed as threatened or endangered there. With an estimated 30,000 eagles in the state, it’s easy to spot one of these national symbols, especially in Southeast Alaska.
With wing spans up to 7.5 feet, eagles are powerful, but can only lift 3 or 4 pounds. They don’t seem to know their own limits though. We’ve seen more than one eagle stranded on the beach waiting for its wings to dry so it can fly again (usually after it gets dragged into the water a bit after an unsuccessful attempt to pick up a fish it couldn’t handle.)
Spotting eagles is a highlight of any visit to Alaska. Ketchikan has 30 nesting sites weighing in up to 2,000 pounds and measure 6 feet deep. Eagle's remain in Ketchikan because eagles know they won’t starve here. Eagles are carnivores and live to eat fish, so you’ll see them plenty at the mouth of salmon streams, Ward Cove, Herring Cove, Ketchikan Creek. Salmon pass through the area from April through September. Eagles even hang around in winter; the water remains ice-free, and the fish keep coming. 
Visit Ketchikan in May and you’ll start to see mature eagles preparing their nests. Their eggs hatch the following month, and through June and July you can watch adult eagles feeding their young in the nests. From mid-August through early September, the baby eagles are learning how to fly, honing their flying skills and practicing hunting pink salmon. You can see some of this nesting activity from the town’s roads and others from the water.
Eagles are thought to breed for life, and in Alaska can live into their early 30s. The iconic white hood and tail don’t show up for about five years, so if you see one with brown feathers, it’s probably a juvenile. (You can also tell by the beak; young eagles have a black beak that later turns yellow). 
More interesting sights near a stream filled with salmon.

Linking to Skywatch Friday


  1. What a wonderful sight Kate, especially if there are many eagles soaring above. I have to do something about my fear of flying, I would looooove to visit Alaska!

  2. I'd love to see Alaska for myself someday. Especially to see bears fishing.

  3. Eagles are fun to spot. We have one that nests near our lake.....and of course bear watching comes in as number one.

  4. Wonderful. The eagles can be seen in droves when they're in season, which they aren't. We went to the places we normally see them yesterday and were sad to see the river and trees empty.

  5. Bears and eagles, two wonderful creatures that make me think of Alaska. Nice photos!

  6. Amazing to know that eagles are so common in certain areas of Alaska. I've only seen a few in my lifetime. What a treat!!

  7. Thrilling, aren't they?

  8. They are magnificent to see arn't they? And to see a real bear in the wild is also so special.

  9. Hello, love the bear sighting, very cool photos. Enjoy your weekend!

  10. 'Eagles as common as pigeons' - how wonderful!
    Have a great week-end!

  11. Wow....eagles are so majestic, and you've shared some wonderful in flight images.
    Do consider stopping by and adding your post for all of us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

  12. We see brown eagles fairly regularly here, but never a bald eagle.
    Great photos! (even better when enlarged).


Thanks for visiting my blog; I appreciate it! Come back often!!