The Bald Eagle Appears at the Last Minute
Gualala, CA
June 22, 2021

The view is spectacular. The house is covered in windows on a bluff, facing the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. We are dog sitting for Chris’s sister for a week. It is our last full day and I have seen the local bald eagle only twice, quickly flying by, gone before I can even lift my camera. During a call from Oregon, Chris’s sister chides me for not having photographed the eagle yet. She says I might have to stay until I capture an image; I agree.

About an hour later while packing my bags in the second story bedroom, there is a commotion and loud chirping in the pine tree right outside the large picture window. Two bald eagles have landed in the upper branches while two quarrelsome ravens hassle them. My camera is downstairs and I know I only have seconds; I run there frantically yelling, “Bald eagles! Bald eagles in the tree!” Chris grabs his phone and I take aim with my telephoto. One eagle has already flown off, pursued by a raven. The other eagle clings to the branch, ruffling feathers and gruffly arguing with the ravens.

I don’t have time to adjust the camera settings and I shoot through the window. Soon this eagle also glides away seeking relief from harassment, although the ravens continue to trail in hot pursuit.

Fortunately, I leave Gualala with a photograph of the bald eagle. An image that shows our close encounter with the great raptor.

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