The Time of the Gathering

Subadult/basic IV Bald Eagle

Subadult/basic IV Bald Eagle

As we enter into the season that has the most death and the emergence of life, a gathering takes place in the valleys of western Montana. Multitudes of Bald Eagles descend to watch over the birthing of calves, the last failings of winter, and the first ground squirrels as they race atop the snow. I see them perched on top of fence posts and utility poles as the cattle beneath are calving out. The eagles show incredible patience as they wait for the afterbirth or even the occasional stillborn.

This is the time of plenty for the eagles, just as most things are throughly struggling to make it until the first signs of spring. Bald Eagles have the unique ability to thrive when most others are eking out an existence, or they cannot reach that finish line and become another carcass feast for the eagles.

1st Year and Adult Bald Eagle watching over the carcass

1st Year and Adult Bald Eagle watching over the carcass

Grabbing a gruesome bite

Grabbing a gruesome bite

Looking fierce

Looking fierce

Maintaining balance

Maintaining balance

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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