Drive the back roads of Delta County, Colorado, these days and you have a good chance of spotting a bald eagle atop some old cottonwood tree, or sometimes on the ground in a pasture of cows, tearing into some nutrient rich afterbirth. Baldies show up every winter here, and seem to be increasing in numbers. Participants in last week's local Audubon Society Christmas bird survey counted 34. I spotted this one in a tree below Mt. Lamborn around Thanksgiving. Getting close was a challenge – on foot I scare them off their perches from several hundred yards away. For this shot, I motored slowly to the tree on a four-wheeler and the bird never flinched.
To see more images from me and other Western photographers, go to our Flickr group.
Paul Larmer is HCN's executive director.