Friday, Nov. 4 was a typical morning for John Pate of Grant.
He started the day at his lake house on Lake Guntersville, eager to get out on the water.
“There were several geese out this morning that came flying on out of here,” Pate explained.
But it’s not geese that Pate is on the lookout for.
“There’s no telling where they went,” Pate said. “When they’re in a tree, they’re really difficult to see.”
He’s talking about one of the most majestic creatures out there: the bald eagle.
“They’re just magnificent,” Pate said. “They’re just beautiful birds with the big white head and big white tail.”
The sky is his canvas. The camera is his paintbrush. Our nation’s bird is his subject. The finished products are nothing short of stunning.
“I’ll take anything from 10,000 to 20,000 photos each year,” Pate said.
His wife, Lisa, has a real eagle eye for spotting the birds. Pate puts together a photo album each year full of all the moments he and his wife have captured.
The couple spends just about every weekend out on the water, hoping to get a glimpse of something spectacular. He recently retired from a decades-long commitment to his country in the Army civilian corps.
“Usually that white head, if it’s a mature one, you can see it with the sun shining on it from at least a half-mile away,” Pate said.
Pate has traveled the state, looking for the best places to find the once hard-to-find majestic creatures. The bird’s population, which used to be near extinction, is thriving once again.
Pate said the top spot to see them is right here at home.
“Guntersville, by far, has got more eagles than any other lake in Alabama, that’s for sure,” Pate said.
To see more of Pate’s pictures, click HERE.
To see all of Luke’s past “Alabama Originals,” click HERE.
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