I started freelancing to get away from my desk job and do more field reporting, the key to making a good story even better. In November, I headed north. Every year, thousands of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) descend on Southeast Alaska’s Chilkat River to feed on a late run of chum salmon. Eagles often make seemingly risky decisions about where to perch–like the far end of a cottonwood branch–but mishaps are rare. I captured this adult, scanning the river for spawned-out salmon, during a week-long reporting trip embedded with ecologists studying the winged predators’ migratory patterns. Eagles weren’t the only animals I encountered. On this trip, the howl of wolves–something I’d never heard before–inspired me to write this story for KQED QUEST about our tortured relationship with this woefully misunderstood predator.
Editor’s note: Liza’s photo kicks off a new series called Friday Snapshots. We will feature images from the lives and adventures of science writers.