I traveled the back roads near Denver International Airport (DIA) earlier this week. I’d heard from bird-lovers that the location was good for a variety of birds at this time of year, and wanted to see for myself. For those of you who have not visited DIA, it is located many miles from Denver, and situated on open plains. Sadly, development is starting to encroach on the area, but at this time, there’s lots of open space to the north and east of the airport. There are miles and miles of paved and gravel roads that one can travel, sometimes with open fields to both sides, and other roads are lined with old farm/ranch homes on one side and open prairie on the other. When I visited, the fields were covered with snow. I spotted a few hawks, some prairie birds such as meadow larks, and one eagle. I was driving along an east-west road when I saw a VERY large bird perched on a power pole on the left side of the road. I eased Big Red as close as I could get, and took several photographs from the driver’s side window without getting out of the car. The big bird did not seem disturbed by my presence, but soon took off. As he was preparing to launch, he stretched his wings and did a little hop, and I caught him in the act, as shown on the photo accompanying this post. After a bit of research, I decided this big bird was a juvenile bald eagle, perhaps two years old. I also photographed a red tailed hawk sitting on a power pole. He was close enough that I was able to bring him up for a closer look with a tight crop, and the expression on his face was priceless. He looks very annoyed, even furious that I was photographing him! I’ll be back on these roads again soon, and hope for even better luck.