Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Break From The Planes

On my way home tonight, I went past the local eagles nest. I noticed that I could see both white heads bobbing up in the tree, so I pulled off into the median. As I was putting the long lens on the camera, something caught my eye and I spotted one of the eagles flying past. I got off a couple of shots, but the camera wasn't fully adjusted yet, so I didn't get anything too great.

Then I walked over to the fence line and saw the other adult just sitting there, minding his own business. Then he disappeared.

A couple of minutes later, I see one or the other of the adults flying back with what looked like a fish in their talons.

I think this was my favorite shot of the whole series. I don't think I've ever shot this nest when it was this active. All I usually get is sedentary birds.

There's Mommy, hopping up onto a higher branch to watch her two young'uns eat. You have to look close to spot the babies in this shot, but they're there, right behind the base of that Y-shaped limb coming out towards the camera.

Once they were done eating, the babies became a little more active and I was able to actually see them. They certainly aren't small anymore. In fact, I think they're about the same size as the adults, they just still have their juvenile plumage.

Here's a nice little family portrait with Mommy (or Daddy) on the left and the two kids on the right.

I have no idea why these guys were so active. They just kept hopping around. This is when I wish I had about a 600mm lens and a nice tripod so I could get some really clear shots. These are sort of muddy, shot with a 70-200 f/2.8L and a 2x teleconverter. I couldn't resist using the teleconverter even though I knew it wouldn't give me very clear shots. I wanted to get as close as I could for these.

At last they quit hopping around and held still for a few minutes. From their size, these guys could start flying any day now.

And then for some reason, Mommy decided it was time to duck out.

I just happened to be shooting these at the right time as she leapt up and threaded between the tree limbs.

And off she flew towards the west. Notice how the two kids don't take their eyes off of her. At this point, I turned and started hurrying in the direction she was flying to get some aerial shots. I had to get out from behind a line of tall bushes that I was shooting through before she flew too far. It was then that I noticed a county sheriff parked behind my car. I walked over to the officer who asked me what I was doing. I explained about the birds, and he asked me not to park in the median anymore. I said OK and he left. But by then the eagle was gone and I didn't think it wise to hang out.


Anonymous said...

too bad he wasn't a bird watcher on the side. He would have appreciated the pics... great stuff.

Ernie said...

Actually, he asked me about the nest and said he was going to bring his wife back later to show her the birds. I should have asked him where he was going to park...