Conowingo Eagles With Fish


While in Pennsylvania, I visited the Conowingo Dam in Maryland.

It is a hydroelectric plant located on the Susquehanna River, just northwest of where the river meets the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay. When the turbines run, the large valves suck in water, fish and anything else in the vicinity to provide the raptors ample food.


Since this was my first time at this location, I talked with a few of the hundreds of seasoned photographers lining the platform. Most sported very long lenses from 500mm to 800mm, most on tripods. I had my tripod in my Jeep, but decided to handhold the camera because everywhere you looked there were eagles.

I learned quite a bit from the helpful photographers, like where the public indoor toilet was located should the need arise. Otherwise it was a bank of Job Johnnies available to the visitors. I learned how when the turbines are shut down around noon, the water recedes where one can walk out further and take photos at water level. A loud horn blares to warn people to get out of this area quickly because the turbines are being reactivated.

I learned how to follow the light also. When they run turbines closest to the platform, that is the best place to get closeup action shots. They had the outer turbines running when I was there, making it a bit difficult to get photos with my 400mm lens, but when eagles flew overhead, the guys with the long lenses were out of luck though.


Conowingo is only one hour from where I stay in PA, so it is easy to get to early in the morning. The most action occurred around 9AM, but I got there at 8AM for a good parking place. When I left at 1PM, I noticed eagles in farmers fields, trees along the roadway, and flying high in the sky. It is just hard to imagine seeing this many Bald Eagles.


Tomorrow I will be back at the Dam since the sun will be shining again. I will show you the many photographers and more of the dam. Over on Nature and Wildlife Pics, I have young eagles fighting. I so wish I had a longer lens…



About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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21 Responses to Conowingo Eagles With Fish

  1. shoe1000 says:

    Beauty full!
    Happy New Year and thank you for bringing beauty into my life with your pictures!

  2. aussiebirder says:

    Superb photography and lighting, wonderfully captured. Thank you for sharing, what a blessing to behold!

  3. bittster says:

    As usual, beautiful pictures! Even as youngsters they have that fierce look to them.
    I guess a dam isn’t the best thing to have, but I’d rather eagles make out than hordes of seagulls. Is there any reason why it’s mostly youngsters? Or were they just the better shots?

    • Thank you, Frank. Next post I answer your questions on the young eagles. Also, the dam is involved in environmental issues for the betterment of Chesapeake Bay. They also have a learning center. It is a clean form of electrical production in comparison to other forms of electric generation. Niagara Falls does not have a dam, but regulates the amount of water over the Falls. That has changed the environment, but also reduced erosion at the Falls.

  4. Wonderful photo and what a tail.

  5. Great capture without a tripod. Happy New Year to you. 😀

  6. debsgarden says:

    I am reminded of the time I saw an eagle while on a vacation tour. I was so excited I screamed, “Look at the eagle!” This made the eagle fly away, of course, and I got some ugly looks from fellow vacationers, who had their cameras ready. Your photos are always fabulous. I love the shot of the eagle just after it has pulled the fish from the water.

    • That is funny because I too did that when I “thought” I saw an eagle last year on one of my birding trips. Unfortunately, it was not one, but I was so excited – then a bit embarrassed. At least the birders aren’t usually armed with cameras. The scopes are their weapon of choice. Thanks Deb. I have the fast action series coming up of eagles fishing on Nature and Wildlife Pics. I thought they would be good when I talk about actually photographing them with my new camera.

  7. debsgarden says:

    P.S. I have enjoyed your blog so much, and I am wishing you the very best in 2015! Deb

  8. How majestic they are and what a privilege being able to see them up close. So wonderfully captured, Donna! 🙂

    • Thank you Marina, the eagles are very majestic. They were very close when they flew overhead, but not when on or across the river. Even in the trees they were pretty high up. Most of my images are enlarged.

  9. What a spectacular action shot of the eagle catching a fish! And the fish in the tree was so cool. You make it look easy!

  10. Sunnyheart says:

    Your photos (and experience) leave me awestruck- truly. I’m thankful for my “cyber sighting” of Bald Eagles. 🙂

  11. Donna these are fabulous images…we have eagles here at our lake and the lake that Syracuse borders but you do not see them easily and not in these numbers although they are increasing in numbers…it does my heart good to know that numbers are so strong in other spots…what a great place you found.

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