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Photos: Bald Eagle, Canada Geese, Eastern Box Turtle at Mason Neck State Park

Interesting day, wouldn't you say?

Patch was at on Monday morning to take photos of bald eagles. 

On the drive up to the park office I found a male Eastern Box Turtle crossing the road. I stopped, got out and took a picture, picked up the little guy and set him down on the other side of the road. 

The park is home to an eagle sanctuary, and it is home to about 50 to 80 of America's national birds. There are five nests in the park and at the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge. The birds are skiddish, and will abandon their nests if humans or predators get too close. 

How can you tell a male from a female?

"Sometimes you can't," said Jennifer Davis, a naturalist with, who accompanied me to the choicest spots to see eagles. "The females are larger than the males, so you may be able to identify their sex when they fly together, but that's about it."

We searched for more than two hours, Davis led me around to different spots and waited, waited, waited... and almost left empty-handed. It was sunny and hot, and just as frustration was about to take over, "There! There's an eagle!" said Davis, looking through field glasses.

What do bald eagles eat? "Ninety percent of their diet is fish," said Davis. "They like to nest near water, and they will eat small animals and carrion."

Bald eagles have excellent eyesight, can live up to 30 years and are faithful to their mates for life. 

I took a few shots (the appearance was momentary), and then while waiting some more, took a picture of Canada Geese swimming in line on the Potomac. 

Enjoy the photos!

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Nancy Heltman August 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM
That turtle is so lazy - he sees a car coming and rushes out in the road to get a free carry the rest of the way across. Seriously, I am glad you enjoyed your visit! Nancy Heltman, Virginia State Parks
Lance Manion September 02, 2012 at 05:16 AM
I live on Lake Burton in North Ga and have tried everything. The only thing that worked at keeping the geese off my property was a product made by Edgewater Fencing. It was very inexpensive, humane and super easy to install. The people were also great to deal with and we got rid of our nuisance geese!! Their website is http://www.edgewaterfencing.com

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