Eagle Watch: The June 2006 Canoe-Kayak Paddle
at Bald Eagle State Park, Pennsylvania
June 16, 2006


The weather was bright and sunny, and perhaps an ideal day for a paddle across the lake at Bald Eagle State Park (BESP) but for one caution: The second eaglet had left the nest a few days before and wasn't in sight.

The first eaglet had already left the nest about 10 days previously, so the expedition across the lake looked uncertain. However, astute eagle observer Ron Shaffer spotted an adult a few hundred feet from the nesting site. Once all the canoes and kayaks were in the water, we headed for it.

The adult bald eagle was most cooperative and waited for and allowed us to take any number of photos.

Adult bald eagle

The eagle then flew onto what was left of the nest. (Growing eaglets tend to demolish a nest in the midst of exercise and fun. Next year, the parents will have to rebuild, which, if they do, would be their fourth year at BESP.)

We followed the eagle and took another round of photos. Then Spring Reilly had us reverse direction. Paddling along the shore, Ron spotted one of the eaglets. The eaglet looked quite content during the photo session.

The first bald eaglet

Spring and Sue heard an eagle crying, and we continued our journey along the lake shore. Once again, Ron was the first to see the source of the commotion. An adult bald eagle was feeding a fish to a youngster.

The eaglet was all wings and noise.

Adult bald eagle feeding the second eaglet

After the fish was all gone, the eaglet continued to keen in a loud and piercing voice. The adult bald eagle had flown perhaps 40 feet away and was waiting for either junior to fly or us to leave.
The second eaglet wanting more

It had already been a fantastic day with clear sightings of both parents and both eaglets. So we left, with the hope that the parent eagle would be able to sort out the youngster.


  • Spring Reilly has a varied and busy program for just about everyone at Bald Eagle State Park, Pennsylvania
  • For learning about, renting, or buying a kayak: Tussey Mountain Outfitters
  • By eagle-watching spot at the end of the park road Hunter Run, you'll probably come across Ron Shaffer. He has beautiful photos of the eagles (as well as other wildlife), two scopes set up so visitors can clearly see the nest, and a visitor log that everyone should sign.
Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens, with Pentax doubler, for the photos.  

The April 2005 or June 2005 eagle paddle

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