My wife Melinnia and I are avid raptor enthusiasts, and thank Raptor Politics for allowing us to share some photos taken in Colorado of a partial albino (leucistic) Bald Eagle along Dallas Creek by the town of Ridgway. We currently live in Germany and are photographing the Red Kites that live all around our village. Please let us know if we can share some of our additional images with you and the rest of the Raptor Politics community.
Thanks again to all at Raptor Politics! We view your wonderful website daily! Derek and Melinnia Bibber from the Rhineland-Pfalz in Germany.
Below is the brief on our encounter(s) with the leucistic Bald Eagle. Enjoy and please keep us in mind, should you ever need or request photos of birds of prey from either the United States or mainland Europe. Cheers and best regards and keep up the good work!
We have lived in Europe for the past seven years, spending our first six years in Northern Italy by the Dolomite mountains in the Friuli region. We moved last year to Germany, in the Rhineland-Pfalz region to facilitate my (Derek’s) new job. We are raptor enthusiasts who studying raptor ecology and more recently, working under the hand of a couple of licensed falconers. Oh and not to mention that we live to capture THE perfect photo!
Well for the past couple of years, we’ve traveled back to Colorado each November to spend some holiday time with [Melinnia's] family. During our 3 to 4 week stay, we visit a very special place between the towns of Ridgway and Montrose, called Dallas Creek to observe and photograph the Bald Eagles that have migrated down from Canada and Alaska. Dallas Creek is a protected reserve where trout and salmon are abundant – and the Bald Eagles know this!
You can stand as close as 15 meters away from wild eagles while they are feeding; an observation and experience that you simply cannot put into words– you just have to witness it for yourself!
While photo shooting our images, we both spotted a peculiar looking Bald Eagle; one that didn’t look like a typical juvenile or sub-adult bald eagle. After shooting about 200 or 300 images, we spoke with world re-known raptor specialist Bill Clark, and he informed us that we had captures images of a leucistic or partial albino Bald Eagle! We followed up with locals on this particular eagle and have found that it has returned to Dallas Creek now for the past three years. Why haven’t we noticed it previously?!? Why hasn’t anyone mentioned anything about this special bird publicly before?
With that being said, we just HAD to share with the rest of our fellow raptor enthusiasts that a special bird awaits your heart and camera! If we were the betting type, we’d double-down on around a mid-November return this year. — Some things to note: buff white talons versus the black of a typical Bald Eagle, the white chest and belly feathers rather than the brown, and the different colored eyes!
COMPARISON – The eagle on the left with typical plumage. Note the differences with the leucistic on the right
DIFFERENT-COLORED EYES – Note the (typical) yellow right eye and all black left eye
JUMP – A good photo of the white abdominal area as well as the creamy white talons and black eye
LEFT SIDE FLIGHT – Note the white abdominal area
PERCHED FRONT – Note the creamy white talons. Absolutely gorgeous!
RIGHT SIDE FLIGHT – Note the white primary feather (lead “finger”)