I was 4 -5 feet away from him. A majestic creature McGwire was. He was not at all intimidated by our presence, though we were many. This bald eagle gave us spectators an experience we won't soon forget.

If you've been keeping up with my blog you know I've been observing the bald eagle in order to get a great shot of one. Missouri has one of the largest populations of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. So, it's only fitting that the folks who live here in the St Louis area have a natural fascination with these majestic creatures.

"Eagle Days" was held this past weekend at the Chain O' Rocks Bridge in St Louis, and even though it was kind of cold walking over the Mississippi, it was worth braving the chill just to see all the eagles soaring through the skies.

I've been fascinated with taking the perfect bald eagle photo since 2006 - when I first learned that the St Louis area is famous for its influx of the birds from December to March. I want to be the photographer who takes the photo that glorifies the beauty and essence of the bald eagle.

Like I said earlier, this bald eagle is named McGwire. McGwire currently lives at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic in Missouri. He got there because he had an injury and he kept showing up at a rest stop parking lot after he had been rehabilitated. His handler told us McGwire, after being injured, as well as becoming comfortable at the rehab center, he probably would not have survived very long in the wild.

Before I was able to get up close and personal with the object of my photo affection, I had to walk halfway across the Chain O' Rocks Bridge. Although it was 41 degrees, the wind over the Mississippi made it biting cold. I should have worn thermal underwear. My goal was to get to the spotting scopes, there I could see eagles roosting in trees or sitting on chunks of ice, farther than my eyes could see.

As I stood there looking at an eagle perched in a tree some 500 yards away from me, the eagle scout told me that the eagle I was looking at, could see me better than I could see him. That an eagle's vision is 10 times greater than the scope I was observing him from. A bald eagle can read a newspaper clearly from 4-5 miles away. So, basically, the eagle saw me very well.

A few of the eagles were soaring high above the bridge, while a couple of others were riding a chunk of ice, waiting for a fish to float by, belly up. I guess those eagles were conserving their strength.

Next week, I am taking a guided eagle tour at the Pere Marquette State Park in Illinois. It's an all day scouting tour where we'll drive through the wooded park area looking for bald eagles. I'll be able to take some really good shots of eagles in their natural habitats. Look for a follow up report on that experience too, with even more photos.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos of McGwire, shown with his handler, and just doing what eagles do...

Thanks for reading Teasas World! Oh by the way, if you are interested in any of my eagle photos, they will be up on flickr soon!


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