Richmond Photography Meetup Group

January 16, 2011.  Today was the first day on the James River in a few days and I was happy to see the resident bald eagles back in their regular spots.  There were a few migratory eagles in the area and over the course of the day we saw approximately 30 bald eagles.  About half were residents, and half migratory.

Of the five pair of resident eagle that are regularly followed, only two nests are now visible ... Baba & Pops and Bandit & Smokey (Virginia & James' nest fell back in the fall and they rebuilt further inland).  Any day now, they will begin to nest.  Soon the resident eagles will lay eggs and the historic number of successful eaglets will continue to rise.  In the last 34 years, over 10,092 chicks were documented by the Center for Conservation Biology.  In 2010, 8.7% of those chicks were produced and over 70% of that number has been produced in the last 10 years.  Amazing and awesome work by our bald eagles.

This past Sunday I took out a couple of groups of photographers from the Richmond Photography Meetup Group.  This is a pretty amazing group of photographers and I'm amazed at the number of members.  Over 300 I believe in total.  The three images in this article were taken by some of their members during the day on Sunday.  What wonderful work.  If you are interested in learning more about this group, check out the following webiste:  http://www.meetup.com/richmondphotography/photos/1222620/.  If you are at all interested in nature photography, this is great group of people.  --Capt. Mike

The photo's stories?  Top right:  Here is one of the migratory eagles we saw this past Sunday.  Notice the beautiful markings of this sub-adult bald eagle.  The head is starting to turn white, and the tail will soon follow while the wings and body will begin to fill in solid brown.  Photo by Dave Parrish from the Richmond Meetup Group.

Top left:  Interesting angle of a mature bald eagle.  Here's looking at you!  Photo by Marlene Frazier from the Richmond Photo Meetup Group. 

To the right:  By looking at the markings on the left wing (bottom in photo) I believe this is the same sub-adult bald eagle as in the top left photo.  Notice the white starting to show in the tail feathers, and you really get a great sense of how the head is starting to turn white.  The bill is also yellow which indicates a bird in or around its 4th year.  Wonderful example of an eagle that is approaching maturity.  Photo by Dave Parrish from the Richmond Meetup Group.