Conowingo Dam, Maryland, photography workshop, photo tour

The Eagles of Conowingo

Every winter, 100 – 200 Bald Eagles gather at Conowingo Dam, along the lower Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, to feast on fish sucked through the giant turbines of this dam. It generates electricity for the Baltimore area. Travel to Conowingo Dam with us to see nature at its absolute best. Rent a lens from The Photo Center in Brick for a weekend and join us on this fantastic adventure.   Eagles sit in the trees behind us as we wait for the eagles to fly down to the waters to catch their meal. Photograph as the Eagles grab the fish, and all the other eagles take flight to fight to take it away. Incredible photography happens here at Conowingo Dam, with your instructor by your side to guide you in getting stunning images.

We will spend two days photographing eagles. We have a blast on this one, but dress warmly. It is usually in the ’40s around this time of year. Hot packs for hands and feet are supplied, as well as photography instruction and hotel accommodations (double occupancy). We will also do night photography for those who want to join us.

It’s not just eagles. We do sunset and night photography!

What’s Included in the Tour:

This is a rain-or-shine event unless very severe weather is forecast. Friday thru Sunday

Hotel Accomadations (double occupancy) –  3 days/2 nights.

All meals, snacks, and bottled water.

In-depth photography instruction and critiques. Free access to our Zoom lessons after the tour.

Hand and foot warmers.

Bring a folding chair.

Price: $650.00

What is not Included: Travel insurance and transportation, food, and gratuities.

THE EAGLES AT CONOWINGO DAM

The eagle population at this location peaks between November and December. Well over 100 Bald Eagles gather at Conowingo Dam, along the lower Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, to feast on fish every winter. When the sirens go off, the gates will open, and the fish are then sucked through the giant turbines, and it’s time for the feeding frenzy. You do not want to miss an opportunity to enjoy this incredible nature. Photographers come from all over to get their best eagle images. Extra Eyes Photo Tours has a great weekend tour during peak eagle time every November. Dress warm and buy hot pockets from the sporting goods store to put in your gloves and shoes.

On many occasions, you will hear photographers yell things such as “incoming” to let the other photographer know an eagle is about to approach — the eagle’s circle, looking down at the waters and potting their fish. When an eagle dives, they hang its claws down, swoops down, stretches its claws out, and grabs a fish. After this, the action starts. All other birds in the area will try to steal the fish from the eagle. Sometimes, you will see two birds attached to one fish and swinging around in a battle for the meal.

ABOUT THE DAM

As the winter chill sets in at the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, the rush of water signals the start of the feeding frenzy as sirens blare and gates open, sending tons of fish through the powerful turbines of the dam. It’s a sight not to be missed for any nature enthusiast.

The air is filled with excitement and anticipation as photographers gather to capture their best shots of these magnificent birds. As you stand among fellow photographers, cameras ready, you’ll hear calls of “incoming” as an eagle swoops down towards the river. Circling above, they scan the waters below before diving down with outstretched claws to catch their prey. And once the first fish is seen, the real action begins.

Like a scene from a wild documentary, other birds in the area swoop in to try and steal the prized catch from the eagle’s grasp. Sometimes, two birds become entangled in a fierce battle over one fish, soaring above the river in a daring aerial display. It’s a thrilling sight that showcases these incredible creatures’ beauty and ferocity.

The majestic Conowingo Dam in Maryland stands tall and proud, a feat of human engineering nestled against the lush backdrop of nature. It is a spectacular photography location, especially in November when numerous eagles gather here. Skilled photographers worldwide flock to this spot, eagerly awaiting the perfect shot of these magnificent birds. As the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the Dam and its surroundings, the scene becomes breathtaking and worthy of capturing in film or pixels.

HOW TO GET TO CONOWIINGO DAM

To reach the Dam, a simple journey awaits. One can take the I-95 North toward the Delaware Memorial Bridge from the bustling city of New York. Cruise through the picturesque countryside, past the charming towns and verdant fields, and soon, you’ll find yourself at the entrance to the Dam. As you approach, the towering structure looms large against the horizon, its presence a testament to human ingenuity and the ability to harness nature’s power. The Dam stretches across the Susquehanna River.

THE BEST TIME TO GO TO SEE THE EAGLES

The best time to visit Conowingo Dam to see these magnificent birds of prey is in autumn, particularly in November. During this time, the eagles gather along the river to prepare for their annual migration south. The Dam provides a haven for these majestic creatures, offering ample food for the eagles. We like to pick days above 40 degrees. It’s hard to be outside all day when it goes below. We want an excellent parking spot, so we go into the car every few hours and warm up, so again 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. arrival is best.

PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR TO BRING

Of course, the most essential gear is your z om lens. We highly suggest a minimum of 400mm. If you don’t have one, you can rent one. Bring a tripod to stabilize your camera and a monopod for stability while shooting handheld. It’s also wise to bring extra memory cards, batteries, and lens cleaning supplies to ensure you capture every breathtaking moment without interruption.

WHAT ELSE TO BRING

Food, snacks, water, and a comfy chair or camping stool to set up in one spot for extended periods. Binoculars, a hat, gloves, and layers of clothing are also essential, as the weather can be unpredictable, and the viewing areas can be exposed to the elements—hot pockets for your shoes and gloves. 

Armed with your camera gear, you will embark on this exhilarating journey to capture the beauty of the Conowingo Dam and its avian visitors.