One of the most magnificent birds you can see in flight is the Bald Eagle as it glides through the sky with outstretched wings.
And this weekend I was delighted when I found myself in the right place at the right time to get a long look at a Bald Eagle in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan.
For someone who’s been birdwatching for over 20 years, I’ve seen plenty of Bald Eagles from a distance in my binoculars, perched on their nest or soaring through the sky. And I’ve seen many in captivity.
But I’ve rarely seen one in the wild, relatively up close (less than 40-50 feet away).
As I was traveling M-123 north of Moran in the eastern portion of the UP, I saw a large dark bird flying across the road ahead of me.
I looked more closely at the shape. Could it be?
Yes, it had the distinctive white head and white tipped tail of a Bald Eagle!
I pulled the car over to the side of the road and grabbed my binoculars and camera.
The magnificent bird perched on a birch tree long enough for me to capture a few shots before he flew off to a nearby tall evergreen.
Dozens of cars drove by as I continued to watch the eagle as it peered over the area, turning its head frequently, I assume searching for food.
It was still there 10 minutes later when I got back into my car and continued on my journey north.
What an amazing close encounter!