Shooting (with a camera) Bald Eagles along Dallas Creek in Colorada

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!

Brief:

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!

Image Notes:

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COMPARISON – The eagle on the left with typical plumage. Note the differences with the leucistic on the right

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DIFFERENT-COLORED EYES – Note the (typical) yellow right eye and all black left eye

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JUMP – A good photo of the white abdominal area as well as the creamy white talons and black eye 

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LEFT SIDE FLIGHT – Note the white abdominal area

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PERCHED FRONT – Note the creamy white talons. Absolutely gorgeous!

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PERCHED REAR – Note the white shoulder-blade markings, speckled head and black eye

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RIGHT SIDE FLIGHT – Note the white primary feather (lead “finger”)

3 comments to Shooting (with a camera) Bald Eagles along Dallas Creek in Colorada

  • Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group

    This is a much better way to shoot eagles – just admire their majesty. How can anyone born with a brain even consider shooting, trapping or poisoning such beautiful majestic avian icons? I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Derek and Melinnia for taking their time to share with us all these truly wonderful images.

    Let us hope other photographers across the globe will consider sending their raptor images to be show-cased on the Raptor Politics web site

  • Kenny

    Hi Derek,

    I met you briefly in Ridgway photographing bald eagles in December of 2010. You told me of this bird and since I’ve spotted it myself and photographed it many times. It turned up again this winter and I got more great shots. This bird has a personality like no other bald eagle I’ve ever watched. For the hell of it I did a Google search of “partial albino bald eagle” and found this site as well as your Flicker site. You have some great photos and raptors have been my favorite subject as well. If your interested I’d like to touch base with you sometime and share our experiences of western Colorado raptors.

    Best regards,
    Kenny Hill
    Montrose, Colorado

  • Hi Kenny,
    Sorry for such a late reply. First and foremost, Merry Christmas to you! If you happen to read this anytime, please feel free to contact us at ITBibbers@yahoo.com
    Thank you so much for the comment above, and I (we) would love to chat with you about raptors in Colorado. My wife Melinnia is from Ouray, and we try to make it to the Ouray area every 2 years or abouts to photo Baldies, Goldies as well as other raptors in Colorado. We currently live in Europe, so we’ve been really taking the opportunity to photo raptors from the Paleartic region. Again, feel free to contact us at any time. Cheers and best of luck with the photography! Cheers – Derek & Melinnia

    Editor’s Comment. Thank you for this comment Derek and Melinnia, if you have any time to share your images of raptors taken on your trips we would be pleased to share them with our followers.