I am always excited to see and photograph Bald Eagles. That is particularly true if one is in flight. Hopefully I can do them justice with the images.
Bald Eagle Head Shot Up Close and Personal
Bald Eagle in Harsh Light
Look at the details of first the eyes and then the beak. The powerful beak is designed for serious mayhem.
Golden Eagle Looking Down My Nikon Glass
A magnificent creature!
Brunch at Ding Darling
Osprey at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida is guarding its lunch. Per the Audubon Christmas bird count over 400 Osprey reside in Sanibel, and we tyrpically see several every day. It takes about 45 minutes for the Osprey to dine starting head first. This diner is not sharing with either its mate or the chicks. This image is somewhat unusual as the Osprey is on the ground rather than in a nest or a high branch. This image was captured with me prone and my 500mm lens with the tripod legs flat on the ground in the middle of Wildlife Dr. I found a cooperative visitor to direct trafic around me. The Osprey, just off the road, was exceedingly intent on guarding its fish from another raptor stealing lunch. Notice the talons grippping the fish made sure no thief swiped the fish. A sea gull about two-three feet away was trying to snatch small pieces as the Osprey ripped pieces off the fish. Osprey are not always neat diners. This bird could care less that I was spread on the pavement. One of the beauties of Sanibel is that birds are so familiar with non-threatening hunans. No shot is worth disturbing a bird.
Osprey Take Out
The Osprey after catching the fish with its talons then starts the tricky part. It has to flip the prey head first and catch it on the fly to land it in its talons torpedo style head first.
Guarding Brunch From Any Potential Interlopers
This Osprey is not sharing at the nest, a bad mate.
Mom and the Chicks
This Osprey nest is relatively low to the water as its nest is on a channel marker. This is shot from a boat.
Late Afternoon Osprey Nourishment.
This Osprey is not sharing, and enjoying its 45 minute repast. If I had moved over about a dozen feet into water less than knee deep then I could have aligned this Osprey with a full moon in my 500mm lens. Why didn't I? Earlier that day at the same spot there was an approximately 8 foot gater in the water. Gators are cold blooded, and this was shot in February. Gators in the water with just two eyeballs and a snout above the water are typicaly looking to dine.
An "I could care ttitude"
This male Osprey was having lunch about 50 meters from the nest where its mate and two chicks were screaming. The dinerwas most aware that they were clearly within sight, and mom and the chicks in the nest were hungry and mad. His attitude was clearly saying "I don't care, and I am taking my time on my gulf flounder." Osprey pairs, whether cordial or otherwise at the moment, spend considerable time talking with each other.
Osprey By Nest
Osprey in early morning light
Early light's low sun angle allows light under the wings.
Low Light on Osprey
This subject came too close to me and cut the wing tips on both sides.
Making the spring's young ones possible...
Such a Majestic Creature
Home Depot Style Furniture Delivery Osprey Style
Nest building is a very busy time.
one of the Larger Sticks Headed For an Osprey Nest
Hey, Watch the Talons
This displays the underwhing in detail. What is the key to details in birds in flight? 1/2500th of a second is magic. Of the three parts of the Exposure Triangle, shutter speed, aperature and ISO, fast shutter speed is the key for birds in flight. If a photograph is not in sharp focus, then it is generally worthless.
The Osprey is using its wings and pushing off with its legs to obtain the necessary velocity.