Wayne Dion captured this and other pictures of a bald eagle pair. Scroll down for a slideshow.
Three months after a rash of bald eagle sightings in Natick, a Framingham photographer who lives on the Sudbury River captured several photos of a pair of bald eagles hanging out on trees, picking at what appears to be a meal, and swooping through the air.
“I was shocked to see them in my backyard ,” said Wayne Dion, who is a commercial photographer. “I've been through all the national parks and have never seen a bald eagle.”
Dion lives on Central Street and has the Sudbury River in the backyard. He said he's been to the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, and Yellowstone, among other vast wildlife expanses, but Sunday was the first time he saw a bald eagle. And on Monday morning, he managed to capture a pair with his camera.
Dion said they were around for about a half hour on Monday morning, and returned later in the day for about 15 minutes. He estimates they were about 2 feet tall and had a wingspan of between 6 feet and 7 feet, an estimate he made based on the comparable wingspan of great blue herons he often sees behind his house.
In the photo slideshow below, the eagle hanging out on the ice is a different eagle than the one sitting in the trees.
In October, a Natick resident snapped a couple of pictures of a bald eagle picking at trash near the intersection of routes 9 and 27.
Eagles starting making a comeback in the state in the late 1980s thanks to a concerted reintroduction of the species around Quabbin Reservoir in Central Massachusetts. The first nesting pair, nicknamed Betsy and Ross, set up housekeeping there in 1989, said Wayne Petersen, who runs the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Important Bird Areas Program.
Though many birds migrate south during the winter, eagles are hardy and will stay in the state, said Petersen. Some eagles winter in Massachusetts when conditions farther north become too harsh, he said.
Megan McKee can be reached at email@example.com.