Photographing a Bald Eagle Scratching an Itch

As I arrived at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I knew exactly where to look for one of the most iconic birds of prey in North America – the Bald Eagle. Located on the south side of the auto tour road, across from Tuff Pond, there’s a tree that is known to be a favorite perching spot for these majestic eagles. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll spot one here on each visit.

Bald Eagle Scratching an Itch
Bald Eagle Scratching an Itch

During my visit, I was lucky enough to capture a unique shot of a Bald Eagle that was perched on a different spot on the tree. The eagle was scratching an itch, which added an extra layer of interest to the shot. To get the shot, I pulled over to the side of the road and set up my gear. I draped a beanbag over the window of my pickup, rolled the window up part way, and used the beanbag as a support for my camera and lens.

Bald Eagles are not only a beautiful sight to behold, but they also have a rich cultural significance in North America. These birds are known for their distinctive white head and tail, as well as their impressive wingspan of up to seven feet. They are also fierce hunters, known for their ability to catch fish from rivers and lakes.

What sets the Bald Eagles at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge apart is their habitat. The refuge has a bottomland hardwood forest, making it a prime location for the eagles to nest and hunt. Additionally, the refuge’s marshes and wetlands provide an abundant food source for these birds.

While photographing Bald Eagles at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, it’s important to be respectful of the birds and their habitat. Make sure to stay within designated viewing areas and to not disturb the eagles during nesting season. By following these guidelines, we can all help ensure the continued survival of these magnificent birds of prey.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: February 17, 2023 (08:12 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 1600 (Auto) 
  • Focal Length: 500 mm