Eagle Eye (portrait)
Chilkat Eagle Preserve, Haines, Alaska
Of the many shots I took on my eagle "safari" to Haines, Alaska, this is probably my favorite. The eagle was perched in a tree about 75 feet away shortly after sunrise. It was bitterly cold, and he wasn't going anywhere until he warmed up a bit. But he was also clearly intrigued by the photographer. He may have been a fairly young adult and seemed more curious than many others. I got several shots of him checking me out from different angles, with often quizzical expressions. In this one, I find his piercing, direct stare mesmerizing, even slightly unnerving. (Is that how his prey feel before he grabs them?) The lack of direct sunlight helped accentuate the magnificent but subtle shading and texture of his feathers, which are often lost in bright sun and snow.