On the last week of June and through the first week of July I went to the great state of Alaska with some guys from my Boy Scout Troop! Here in Florida you are lucky to see one Bald Eagle every year, but in Alaska you can literally see ten different eagles in a minute! While we were there we saw four Humpbacked Whales, a pod of Dall’s Porpoises, a Steller’s Sea Lion, three Harbor Seals, a very large Black Bear, tons of salmon (literally), countless Bald Eagles, swarms of mosquitos, and hundreds of other species of animals that we did not have time to fully identify! Over all we had a blast and it is defiantly going to be a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Right across the street where we were staying was a huge gathering place for the eagles to fish, so every morning before the boats came out and scared them away, my dad and I went out and took pictures of them until there were none left to see.
Needless to say, we got some incredible shots of the eagles while we were there in the mornings! This is a four year old eagle taking flight. You can tell the age of a Bald Eagle by how white their head is. One is all brown, Two is starting to see some white, Three is a mix of brown and white, Four is mostly white with a little brown, and Five is all white.
This is an older eagle coming in to land with his talons extended to grab the rock.
Here is something I have never seen in my life, an eagle taking a drink! And what is stranger is that this is right where a river meets the ocean, so it is slightly brackish water. But I really love this shot because of the perfect mirror reflection of the eagle as it drinks!
And this is the main reason that the eagles are in this area, fish! Especially right here where the ocean meets a river for the salmon to swim up to their spawning grounds. While I was in Alaska I saw Bald Eagles catching salmon left and right and I never saw one miss its target!
I found this incredible, an eagle managed to catch a flounder (not a halibut, we checked)! Flounder are bottom fish so I have no explanation on how this eagle caught it. I love this shot because it shows the size of an eagle, because that fish is about the size of a dinner plate! Also you can see the rain drops in the photo and the wet feathers on the eagle’s head.
When we were on our ferry from Ketchikan to Juneau we saw a small pod of Dall’s Porpoises swimming with us! It was very cool to see because I have never seen a porpoise and they were only a few feet from the ship! They were very funny animals and the went down several times and on one of the times they surfaced nearly a hundred yards in front of the ship and started to dart around trying to catch fish! It was very fun to watch them even though it was raining outside at the time.
On one of the first days while we were in Ketchikan we went to one of the beaches to look in tidal pools, and while we were looking at a sea star all i heard was a loud puff sound and i looked over and saw the unmistakable fluke of a Humpbacked Whale. The fluke of a whale is the back of its tail flipper.
When we were on the ferry back to Ketchikan we heard someone say there was a whale off the port (left) bow (front). I grabbed my camera and flew out the door and as soon as I did I saw it breach the water! When a whale breaches it gets the majority of its body out of the water then crashes back down into the sea. This whale breached four times in the ten minutes that we saw him!
This is a Harbor Seal that we saw swim under us when we were on a bridge. It was in the same area where the eagles were catching fish and drinking, but it was during high tide. The tides there can be the difference of twelve feet! This seal actually caught a salmon but swam away before I could get a shot of him with his prize.
This was the Black Bear that we saw on our last day in Alaska! He was massive by Black Bear standards, and I would have to guess he was roughly four feet tall at the shoulder and if he stood up he would push six feet. He was only out for a matter of twelve minutes which is a very short amount of time!
This bear actually caught a salmon, and a huge salmon at that! He walked past a lot of salmon that were just swimming in the water, but as soon as this one started to bolt away he chased it down and caught it! That is why they say never run from a bear.
After he caught the salmon he brought it to a pile of fallen trees and drift wood. He sat there and munched on the salmon until he picked it clean and we left. It was a very cool experience seeing that bear walk out of the grass, onto the shore, catch a fish, and eat it all in a matter of just over twelve minutes!
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