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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Bald Eagle

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First Place - Birds - Professional, National Wildlife Awards

BALD EAGLE

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA

by Cheryl L. Opperman

Littleton, Colorado, USA

Once on the brink of extinction, bald eagle numbers have recovered through efforts on the part of conservationists and federal laws protecting them and their habitats. Bald eagles acquire their distinctive white head feathers when they mature at the age of two or three years with wingspans up to seven feet in length, wingtip to wingtip.

“Photographically bald eagles are a challenge to capture on film or digital sensors. With their bright white head and dark body, recording the entire dynamic range is beyond the capability of current technology. In this instance, the snow below the landing bird reflects additional light, which illuminates the dark feathers and helps bring the image to life.”

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