Apollo: The Bois Blanc Eagle

Like most photographers, I have a bucket list of places, things, or opportunities that I would like to photograph sometime. One near the very top was a bald eagle in flight in a natural habitat. My dream became a reality in 2018 while on a family vacation on Bois Blanc Island, Michigan.

I was told ahead of time that several baldies were near the area we would be, and I came prepared with the camera gear. After a few hours staring out over the Mackinac Straits, we caught a glimpse of this beautiful large bird. I grabbed my gear and ran to the water’s edge.

I could not believe my eyes as this magnificent bald eagle flew circles around the area. The whole time he was watching me and also keeping a close scan on the water below. After a few passes, I think he grew comfortable and focused less on me and more on the water. Eventually, he dove into the water and brought out a fish in his talons. Again, something I NEVER thought I would see with my own eyes!

After he swooped down and took his next meal, I watched him fly just a hundred yards or so from me into the top of a tree. Unfortunately, I did not have a good vantage point to photograph any further. My family asked if I had any luck and asked where the eagle went. My response was simple…”the eagle has landed.” And from that point on, my bald eagle “friend” had a name. “Apollo.”

Although my initial experience was only a quick couple of minutes, it brought out a flood of emotion. The visual grace and beauty of this bird was something I cannot articulate. Perhaps it was the excitement of seeing an eagle in the wild and photographing him. Perhaps it was seeing the nation’s symbol and feeling a little pride. Whatever that feeling was, it has not left.

I saw Apollo again in 2019 and plan to return again in 2020. I am excited to see him again, and hope for many more photo opportunities. Maybe some friends will join him on the island.


Apollo seconds after grabbing his next meal outta the Mackinac Straits.

3 thoughts on “Apollo: The Bois Blanc Eagle”

  1. Shawn, Thanks for all the pics, they are keeping my head above water.  Just been in a holding pattern like everyone else and it sucks.  Haven’t done any photography this year, except for a short trip to AZ in March and Joshua tree National park.  Star photography sucked because of the air traffic, probably stuff going to LAX. I have a real nice pic of a Baldy taken at Seney wildlife refuge. I entered it in a contest at the refuge and won first place in 2016. If you are interested I can send you a look? See you at some event, whenever.KurtSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


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