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Eagle Banking

Bald eagle banking a turn at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve outside Haines, Alaska. 

Thousands of bald eagles flock to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in late fall and early winter, about 20 miles outside of Haines, Alaska along the Haines Highway, to feed on the last salmon runs of the year.  The Chilkat river contains a large underground water reservoir, that fills with water heated  during warmer months, that slowly percolates into the colder winter water warming it about 10 degrees and thus allowing late salmon runs and thus attracting the large eagle population.  It is quite the extraordinary experience to be among so many bald eagles constantly feeding, resting and soaring just by stepping out of your car. One outlook is along a inlet that eagles, tend to fly into. Watching an eagle, with its white head and tail, its six foot wingspan and talons tucked close to its body, effortless glide on wisps of wind is like watching a work of art come alive- an absolutely moving experience.  I made this image of a bald eagle, after waiting for most of the morning, as it banked a sharp turn near the shore directly in front of my tripod on its way to a branch on a tree in back of me.

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