Photographer's Note

Pictured here is a Bald Eagle that I photographed at a Falconry exhibition. The event was held in July 2011 at Ballinlough Castle in County Westmeath, and featured a lot of entertainment, including the Falconry itself, jousting with armor clad knights on horses, exhibitions of hunting dogs, and much more.

Falconry is a popular sport in Ireland, with exhibitions frequently featuring around the country at various festivals and events. Not surprisingly it is one of the biggest draws of the events it held in, as the birds on display are magnificent.

Whenever you visit an event in rural Ireland, there is a good chance you will get to see stunts and tricks performed by a variety of these birds, including Falcons, Eagles, kestrels and more.

This bird here was my own personal favorite of all the birds on display, as I think there is something so regal and noble about them. This guy was quite huge, and I would not like to be a rabbit around him were he in the wild, especially with that rather dangerous looking beak.

From Wikipedia:

The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, it has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.

The Bald Eagle is an opportunistic feeder which subsists mainly on fish, which it swoops down and snatches from the water with its talons. It builds the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species, up to 4 meters (13 ft) deep, 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) wide, and one metric ton (1.1 tons) in weight. Sexual maturity is attained at the age of four to five years.

Bald Eagles are not actually bald; the name derives from an older meaning of "white headed". The adult is mainly brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are identical in plumage, but females are larger than males. The beak is large and hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4173 W: 26 N: 9238] (33764)
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