In large part I've been spending any and all spare daylight shivering uncontrollably in temperatures ranging from -20° F to a balmy 37°. Each year for a couple of weeks, a wave of migratory bald eagles passes through the wetlands surrounding the Great Salt Lake.
Inexplicably, even though I have repeatedly "learned my lesson," I continue to forsake my furnace and choose instead to lower my core body temperature to the threshold of hypothermia. Why? Several theories have been offered, but Mrs. FlytoWater's commentary on the subject is wildly inaccurate and notoriously lacking in substance. Like migratory instincts themselves, little is known about the motivations of fly fishermen or bird photographers. Collectively, we remain somewhat of a mystery.
Prior to the intake of copious hot liquids, I will share a few images from the last couple of days. Eagles are fascinating raptors, commonly living into their late 20s (and occasionally as long as 30 years). Young eagles do not achieve their mature plumage until sometime in their 5th year. Juvenile baldies are commonly mistaken for golden eagles due to their mottled, brown plumage. The rare and fleeting close encounter with these majestic animals is always worth the many hours of waiting in the cold.
A juvenile bald eagle sporting the distinctive eye band "mask" they have in this age class:
More mature plumage...