Bald Eagle, Mississippi River, Dubuque, Iowa

This photo was possible thanks to a hint from another birder (Thank you Sally, aka “PERCH 1”!). I had to go to Dubuque, Iowa for some errands today, and while driving by briefly at the 16th Street Basin I saw her taking pictures at one corner of the pond. A dead Bald Eagle lying in the water was the subject, and she just took some documentary shots. We can only speculate what caused its dead, from an electrical shock at on of the numerous power line poles that surround the pond or a collision with a car, many scenarios are possible at this busy place.

The old ice was all gone but due to the low temperatures last night the basin was frozen over with a new thin layer. Sally’s hint was to visit the marina behind the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, which isn’t far away. The marina had still a good layer of old ice but the obviously constantly running engine of the Coast Guard’s boat keeps some of the water open. And this is were at least seven Bald Eagles and numerous gulls had decided to hunt for fish today.

I hardly leave the house without my camera and today I was just glad to have it with me (and the long lens! 😊) when this eagle landed in a tree right beside me. Being prepared was all what it took for making this image…