Chilkat Bald Eagle Protect close to Haines, Alaska

Picture By Charles Sleicher

The Chilkat Bald Eagle Protect in southeast Alaska is a state park and wildlife refuge. Established in 1982, it covers 49,320 acres and has the world’s largest focus of bald eagles. The eagles are there to feed on the salmon that swim up the Chilkat River by the 1000’s within the fall and winter to spawn. The closest city is Haines, which has a superb on-line information at visithaines.com/information. Haines might be reached by air, highway or ferry from Juneau.

I traveled to Haines by ferry from Juneau in November to {photograph} the eagles within the protect. At the moment of yr, you want a four-wheel-drive automobile within the protect, so it’s greatest to hire a automobile in Juneau, the place you’ll have a a lot bigger choice than in Haines. You then drive the automobile onto the ferry for the nine-hour journey to Haines. Haines has a inhabitants of about 1,900 and is a middle for artwork, together with native arts of the Tlingit Tribe and at the very least three museums. It has a number of good resorts and eating places serving recent Alaskan king crab that’s nearly as good as you’ll discover wherever. Think about two days of photographing eagles and three dinners of king crab!

I took this picture within the protect the place the eagles collect to feed on the salmon. The river flows southerly from the mountains within the north and empties into the Lynn Canal. Haines Freeway, a two-lane highway, runs parallel to the river because it heads south towards Haines. The protect is reached by driving north from Haines on the Haines Freeway, which isn’t removed from the river. The {photograph} was taken from a turn-off of the freeway about 20 miles from Haines.

I needed to go away Haines at midnight at round 7 a.m. with the intention to arrive by eight a.m. earlier than the in a single day dusting of snow had blown or melted away. I used to be on the east aspect of the river wanting throughout to the eagles on the west aspect. The eagles had perched within the timber to sleep, and in the course of the night time, there was a lightweight snowfall that coated the branches with an inch or so of fluffy snow. There was a heavy overcast as effectively. I managed to {photograph} the scene earlier than the primary morning breeze blew the snow away.

Along with this {photograph}, I took many others of eagles consuming fish on the shore and combating over fish. I additionally took many images of eagles in timber alongside the highway. A memorable one was of an eagle scolding me from a department just a few toes above my head.

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