A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Nature > Locations > Bald Eagles - Waterloo,...

Bald Eagles - Waterloo, Alabama and elsewhere in the general region

Joshua Szulecki , Feb 06, 2006; 09:04 p.m.

I missed the Guntersville State Park Bald Eagle weekends in January, although the weather was pretty bad. According to the North Alabama Birding Trail website and brochure, Waterloo hosts quite a large population (for the region), especially during the winter. I have some questions regarding Bald Eagles in Alabama:

Has anybody on Photo.net visted Waterloo? If so, what sort of numbers and range (distance) can I expect to find? How precisely does one get to Waterloo? Even more precisely, how does one locate the TVA picnic area from which the eagles are viewed? Most importantly, is it worth the drive from Birmingham?


Joe Boyd , Feb 06, 2006; 10:58 p.m.


There are still eagles around Guntersville. I was on the north side of Guntersville Dam (about 5 miles north of Guntersville, off Hwy 431, No. Al. Birdng Trail site 37) this past weekend. There are a pair of balds on the nest with two chicks 50 ft off the Guntersville Dam Road. They'll probably be there into March. The chicks will probably be around until April or May.

Good Luck!

Bald Eagle lighting on snag at Guntersville Dam, AL - 2/5/06

Joshua Szulecki , Feb 07, 2006; 06:22 p.m.

Joe, they don't have a problem with cameras around the dam area, right? You seem to have not met any problems.

Joshua Szulecki , Feb 07, 2006; 06:28 p.m.

Joe: I figured the eagles were still in Guntersville, but I wasn't sure how accessible they were. You say they have nested along the road (presumably on one of those power company provided posts), are they a decent distance from the road that photography/viewing is non obtrusive at this particular location by the dam? The last thing I want is to disturb them in any way.

Joe Boyd , Feb 07, 2006; 09:19 p.m.

The snag tree that the eagle is landing on is about 25 ft from the Recreation area access road. The road is also access to the North Alabama Birding Trail - Site 37, a picnic area, and a public boat launch. The tree this pair is nesting in is about 50 ft off the Guntersville Dam road. The snag tree is about 100 yards south of the nesting tree. All very accessible. On Sunday morning there were about a dozen photographers and birdwatchers keeping vigil on the snag and nesting trees. They'll come in infrequently and sit on the snag for 5-10 minutes to look over the area.

This pair has been nesting in the tree the last few winters. The eagles seem to be habituated to the presence of people, as they keep nesting each year. While this one was perched on the snag, it didn't seem to register any pertubation from our presence. If you look carefully at the image you'll notice a band on its left leg. One person told me that these eagles are part of a group that was re-introduced to the Lake Guntersville area several years ago.

TVA (owners of the property) have lined the area around the base of the nesting tree with Caution tape to dissuade people from getting close to the nest. A TVA policeman was occassionally patrolling the area to insure nobody got close to the nesting tree. The policeman was very accomodating of the photographers, noting that they would probably get on anybody that harassed the eagles before he could speak to them.

Joe Boyd , Feb 07, 2006; 10:13 p.m.

Another indication of the habituation of the eagles to people at Guntersville Dam is the location of the nesting and snag trees about a quarter mile from a gun club shooting range. On Sunday, several rounds an hour could clearly be heard over the few hours I was at the site. I don't think my film advance was that loud;)

Joshua Szulecki , Feb 08, 2006; 05:59 p.m.

Thanks Joe, guess I know where I am going this Saturday if the weather holds up. Lake Gunterville Dam is a whole lot closer than Waterloo, mostly as a result of the strange route needed to get there. Hopefully it won't be too crowded, but chances are with the proximity to populated areas and your report of a dozen photographers, it will be. Just don't want anybody teasing me for my cheap glass. :)

Joshua Szulecki , Feb 12, 2006; 05:43 p.m.

Went today Joe, thanks for the tip. In exchange, here is an eagle pooping (attached).

Joshua Szulecki , Feb 12, 2006; 05:44 p.m.


Joshua Szulecki , Feb 12, 2006; 06:12 p.m.

I am sorry, I posted the wrong image, sorry for the full size, my brain is cold.

Bald Eagle Pooping - Proper Size

Back to top

Notify me of Responses