Two days ago, I searched along the Boise River for a pair of bald eagles that have nested here for the past six years. I did spot one of them at the top of a cottonwood, high above the bank of the south channel and took this photo from about 75 yards away. It is #5 in a series of 9 photos of this eagle taking flight.

I find eagles fascinating, especially in the way they take to the air. The kestrel will swoop downward before angling off; the osprey holds its wings forward before dropping to the water; smaller birds leap from a branch without opening their wings at all. But the eagle raises its wings above its head and then seems to attack the sky with the determination of a gladiator. The countenance of an eagle in flight is truly awe inspiring.

The first four photos in this series show the bird extend its wings straight up, and then lift gracefully from the branch. But suddenly, it looks down with determination, folding its wings like a pugilist taking a boxing stance. The same pose morphs through the next three shots until in the 9th frame, the bird, wings straight out and parallel to the ground, swoops towards me and over my head. 

The digital record in my camera shows that all 9 shots occurred in a period of one second. If I was not recording the entire scene with a camera and fast shutter speed (here, 1/2500/sec.), I would have missed this.  If and when I set up a webpage, I will post all 9 of these shots in a series. But for now, here is #5, the fighter’s stance.

God bless,