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Bird Watching: Bald Eagle - Our National Symbol

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
6:30 PM

Post #5744034

I have become obsessed with photographing the Bald Eagle. Every opportunity I get this time of the year I am off to spend a day surrounded by these majestic creatures. How many photographs are enough ? I don't know what enough really is ... Seldom are two photos alike, especially of an in-flight bald eagle. The scenery changes, the lighting varies and some photos are better than others. I'm still getting used to capturing them in-flight with a 700mm lens. But, I'm getting better. On Friday and Saturday, I took over 800 photos. My arms are tired. And, some days are obviously better than other days.

I've created this thread to share my photographic experience over the next few weeks with the Bald Eagle. Hope you enjoy it ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
6:33 PM

Post #5744046

I liked the first photo because the eagle is cast against the fall colors but they always show well against a background of blue sky.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 2, 2008
6:34 PM

Post #5744047

Thats wonderful Linth! Looking forward to seeing more!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
6:36 PM

Post #5744062

Thanks, pelle. Here is an in-flight photo taken yesterday ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
6:38 PM

Post #5744072

Going the other way ...

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 2, 2008
6:47 PM

Post #5744098

Okay...will get my bib next to computer for when I look at this thread... :)

love the first one!!
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 2, 2008
6:58 PM

Post #5744132

Incredible shots Linth! I would be there often too!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
7:10 PM

Post #5744173

A little lunch !!! You can still see some movement in the water at the bottom left of the photo.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
7:18 PM

Post #5744203

Coming in for the kill with talons outstretched. I think you can see the fish near the surface of the water ?

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
7:52 PM

Post #5744316

An immature flying overhead ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
7:57 PM

Post #5744339

Another in-flight adult ...

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 2, 2008
8:49 PM

Post #5744539

Awesome shots Linth!
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

November 2, 2008
8:51 PM

Post #5744544

I agree, they are wonderful Linth. I am looking forward to seeing more!!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 2, 2008
9:10 PM

Post #5744588

Awesome shots linth.
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

November 2, 2008
9:14 PM

Post #5744598

Always thrilling to see them, I would spend every available moment there.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
9:32 PM

Post #5744653

Thank you all ...

What's great here is that you sometimes can get some shots from above so the lighting tends to be more favorable.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
9:35 PM

Post #5744663

Another fish catch ...

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 2, 2008
9:36 PM

Post #5744664

Oh that's wonderful!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
9:45 PM

Post #5744681

He has a fish in his sights ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
9:59 PM

Post #5744710

Thanks, pelle ... Hopefully, I don't duplicate these photos. I'm just picking and choosing !

I'm doing a better job locking in the focus. Too many times the subject is blurred and the background is in focus. And, using a teleconverter allows me to reach out farther but I'm giving up some sharpness. I'm not sure I want to keep using the 1.4x teleconverter except on still subjects.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 2, 2008
10:39 PM

Post #5744834

Wow, linth, what a fantastic thread. Glad you started it and I look forward to frequent updates. Brilliant shots of truly magnificent birds.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
11:59 PM

Post #5745148

Thanks, Margaret. Updates probably once a week ...

An adult Bald Eagle peering downward ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
12:05 AM

Post #5745171

Another flight shot ... and one off in the distance !

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
12:09 AM

Post #5745192

Last one for tonight ...

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 3, 2008
12:27 AM

Post #5745276

Fabulous!!! I can sit and watch this thread over and over again with delight! Thanks Linth.
Grasmussen
Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4a)

November 3, 2008
2:48 AM

Post #5745873

Another beautiful series, as usual, Lith. What kind of a setting do you have to get so many in flight shots? I almost never get a change for a flying shot, except when I spook a perched Eagle, by getting too close. On Friday, I returned to the lake where I had the 15 minute conversation last week, only to find it frozen solid.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
3:47 AM

Post #5746036

Thanks Lily and Gary.

If I am shooting with Aperture priority, it is generally set at f/8. With adequate lighting the shutter speed will come in at a minimum of 1/800 sec to 1/1000 sec. On in-flight shots, my ISO is always set at 400. If I am shooting on Manual, I still prefer f/8 with a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec to 1/1600 sec. Very few of my photos are ever overexposed. My biggest problem is fly-overs since you are shooting into the sky. The underside of the eagle is dark from the start. A lot of time, automatic settings just don't work. And, it's difficult to change settings when something is coming toward you.

In summary, it "ain't" easy. The first photo in this thread which is a still shot was taken with the ISO set at 200, aperture priority set at f/8 and shutter speed came in at 1/80 of a second, on a tripod.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

November 3, 2008
1:12 PM

Post #5746800

Hi Linth

Just found this thread and to say the least, it blows me away.

I have seen pictures of eagles shot in Alaska, Canada and in other distant places, but to think these are right here in the east, well, it makes me want to drive up there just to see them live. I would take my camera but I can't imagine getting a shot as nice as yours. I have enjoyed looking at each and every one and like everyone else, I look forward to future installments.

We truly are fortunate to have you as a contributor to this forum.

Dave

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2008
2:58 PM

Post #5747134

Oh Linth, great series. We usually have three eagles here in the winter (arriving in December, departing in March). I'm excited for their arrival this year to see if I can photograph them. Thanks for the tips!

Dave, you should go! It would be interesting to hear how it was to try and shoot pictures of larger birds.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
3:04 PM

Post #5747151

Thank you, Dave, for the kind comments. You really do have to make the effort to visit. From now through the end of the year is the best time. Some days are better than others. When they are generating electricity, the eagles tend to become more active. Unfortunately, that's not on a schedule. Many eagles are visible but often out of camera range, even with a long lens. People travel from a lot farther than you. I often speak to repeat visitors from New York and Connecticut.

The owner of the Hydroelectric plant, Exelon Corp., is in the process of constructing a $4M viewing area. The viewing areas are pretty good right now. It's funny when a complete stranger stops by. They see all these 500mm-600mm lenses on tripods and wonder what's going on.

This photo isn't very good but it shows 2 men working on the spillway and there are 4 Bald Eagles sitting close by.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2008
3:06 PM

Post #5747157

why are the birds more active when the plant is generating energy?
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
3:21 PM

Post #5747218

Mrs_Ed, hope your eagles arrive soon. The cold weather up north will be pushing more of them southward. Some of our birds our tagged. I heard someone mention the other day that a specific eagle had arrived from upstate New York. And, Dave will do well. He has the equipment and experience.

When the power generators are on, the water below the dam is "churning" and I assume the fish become more active at the surface level. I seem to recall someone saying that it also stuns some of the fish making them easy pickings for the eagles. However, a lot of eagles would sooner steal a fish from another eagle than catch their own.

Here's another photo off in the distance of 4 eagles sitting around ...

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 3, 2008
3:29 PM

Post #5747253

That's a tremendous birding area!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
3:39 PM

Post #5747291

This photo I took on Saturday way across the water. There are 7 in this photo but more were sitting in that same area. My lens serves as my binoculars but a lot of "birders" bring spotting scopes rather than cameras.

Pelle, it is a good birding area. There is about a two mile path, heavily traveled, down along the river. Two miles down is one thing but two miles back is another thing. I suppose if you do it leisurely it wouldn't be too bad. One gentleman showed me a photo of a Cerulean Warbler that he took right at the parking lot entrance. What a beautiful bird. I spoke to another small group that came there specifically to possibly view a Peregrine Falcon that hangs out around the dam breast.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 3, 2008
3:48 PM

Post #5747327

Your shots are spectacular! These beautiful birds are here at our lake year round and I never get tired (but my arms do too) of taking their pictures. Too bad you can't add their calls for those that aren't as fortunate as some of us.

I really think that photo with the guys on the spillway is outstanding. What a great reward for them to be working and watching the eagles at the same time.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2008
3:57 PM

Post #5747361

Ah, that makes sense about the churning. We have a very small spill way here on our river that keeps the water open.

Grandmaggie
Beachwood, NJ
(Zone 6b)

November 3, 2008
6:47 PM

Post #5747864

Beautiful pics, great thread! G,
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
7:13 PM

Post #5747930

Thanks, again. Glad you are enjoying them.

This is a photo type that I get a lot of but in this one you can see how important the lighting is. With most, the underside is completely dark. What I need is a powerful flash that will brighten their underside. You can only slow down the shutter speed so far.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
7:18 PM

Post #5747952

Here's another - underside completely dark. It's okay ... but I want my cake and eat it, too !

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
7:24 PM

Post #5747969

These are all images that I took this past weekend. This appears to be one that I worked on a little bit but then you lose the nice blue sky.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
7:27 PM

Post #5747976

And another ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
7:29 PM

Post #5747987

One more, for now ...

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

November 3, 2008
7:52 PM

Post #5748058

Beautiful!! The blue sky really sets them off well.

I've been watching one of our Eagles for the last couple hours, but all it does is sit on the same branch of a tree day after day. It's amazing how the daily pictures look the same as the day before.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2008
9:30 PM

Post #5748352

ducbucln, they do have their favorite perches. I stood at the same spot for over an hour watching the eagle in the second photo of this thread. I wanted to get a photo of him as he lifted off the branch. Well, after all that wait, there was a little activity out over the water, and as I looked away ... he took off. So much for patience ! Maybe next time.

I did find a photo with at least 10 Bald Eagles in it. There was one more to the right that I couldn't include.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2008
1:03 AM

Post #5749059

This photo was cropped ever so slightly ...

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Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 4, 2008
1:16 AM

Post #5749097

Quoting:I did find a photo with at least 10 Bald Eagles in it

There's 11 there - the left-hand 'two' is actually three (2 juvs and an adult) ;-)

Resin
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2008
1:32 AM

Post #5749241

Thanks, Resin ... they can easily get lost in the background.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2008
7:49 PM

Post #5751835

After a while, the photos may start looking alike. Here is an adult coming right toward me ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2008
7:52 PM

Post #5751847

If you look closely, he has a fish tucked away in his talons ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2008
7:56 PM

Post #5751860

Wings outstretched ...

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crazybirdlady51
Wilmar, AR
(Zone 8a)

November 4, 2008
8:11 PM

Post #5751923

Sa-lute! to you linthicum for a great job!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 5, 2008
2:15 AM

Post #5753437

Thanks, crazybirdlady !

I tried my hand in putting together a sequence photo of a Bald Eagle. This is the outcome of my first attempt. I've done it with an eclipse of the moon but nothing else.

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 5, 2008
4:15 AM

Post #5753965

Wow, that is neat!! I really need to get a good editing program...
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 5, 2008
10:26 AM

Post #5754447

Linth, that's remarkable. Loving this thread.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 5, 2008
11:18 PM

Post #5756677

Oh thats super cool Linth!
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 5, 2008
11:22 PM

Post #5756687

Just saw this thread. Incredible pics linthicum! Thanks for sharing.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 6, 2008
1:18 AM

Post #5757151

Wow Linth, some super shots. Love the sequences, you do great work.
tmbolin
crossville, TN
(Zone 7a)

November 7, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5762528

love your pics!
echoes
South of Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 3a)

November 7, 2008
9:40 PM

Post #5764055

What a great bunch of photos. I have enjoyed them so much. Thanks.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:17 PM

Post #5778075

Thanks, again, everyone ... I'm glad you enjoy looking at them. I've taken so many photos, some good, some not so good. On Sunday and yesterday, I took about 1800 photos. Many of the eagles are too far away but I still photograph them. Obviously, I'm still sorting through them.

Nothing special about this image but I liked the shadow on the wall ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:20 PM

Post #5778085

Way off in the distance, this majestic bird sails above the fall foliage.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:22 PM

Post #5778091

Another image against the fall foliage ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:25 PM

Post #5778105

Here's coming right at you, with a fish dinner ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:27 PM

Post #5778110

Another fly-by image ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:29 PM

Post #5778114

One more, for now ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
4:35 PM

Post #5778153

Sitting overhead ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
5:03 PM

Post #5778270

"Just passing ... in the day".

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dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 11, 2008
5:48 PM

Post #5778440

O wow! 'Just passing' is beautiful. I luv the shadow shot too.
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

November 11, 2008
5:58 PM

Post #5778482

I agree..that last shot is one in a million! Linth this is such a wonderful set and your pics are just getting better!!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
9:23 PM

Post #5779212

Thanks. Here is a close-up photo of an adult sitting high up in a treetop.

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Seedtosser1

Seedtosser1
Glenview, IL

November 11, 2008
9:34 PM

Post #5779243

OH MY GOSH,

Lithicum, I have been watching your entire Bald Eagle show...
Simply gorgeous photos, all of them.

This last one is what has made me write.
post #5779212

Well anyway it is the closest to my story and that is How an Eagle looked directly at me.
I was very sad as it was the day we sent my mom on to her Journey.
We were driving and along the road a baran Birch Branch, was sitting a beautiful bald eagle much as yours...So I asked my DH to pull over. We got out and walked directly toward him. I was in complete awe and t that same moment He/she looked directly at me! i thought it as a sign mom was home and I would be ok...But your photo reminded me so much of that day, only my Eagle had a tilted head...and one that will forever be engrained in my memory as Eagle Eyed.

Thank You so much for sharing your Daily photo's of a splended and majestic bird.
Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
10:34 PM

Post #5779508

Hey Lith. The Eagle shots are sweeeeetttt. Where is this place with so many Eagles? Don't tell me it's here in MD.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
10:43 PM

Post #5779540

Thank you for sharing your story, Seedtosser.

I titled this photo, "Flying into the Storm". Many of my photos of the Bald Eagle are taken at great distance. I find some of these distant photos of the Bald Eagle, alone, and high in the sky, quite awe-inspiring. They project a certain inner peace and undaunted freedom.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
10:54 PM

Post #5779584

If only I could get closer to these Bald Eagles. They sit here among the rocks which provides an excellent backdrop but I am shooting these at 700mm. It's several football fields between me and them.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
11:02 PM

Post #5779626

The immature Bald Eagles are not as colorful but can they still provide some exciting photo opportunities.

Here are two immature Bald Eagles. The one on the left has a fish tucked away in his talons. The other one would sooner attempt to steal it rather than catch his own fish.

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
11:44 PM

Post #5779781

OOOPS ! Slipped off of the tightrope ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 11, 2008
11:50 PM

Post #5779810

Fall foliage in the background ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
12:23 AM

Post #5779966

It looks like this adult Bald Eagle has a transmitter attached to his/her back ... you can see the wire hanging down toward the back.

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dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 12, 2008
12:29 AM

Post #5779993

Sure does! Good eye! Do they have a monitoring program in your state?
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
1:18 AM

Post #5780244

dahlianut, I'm sure they do. I've tried unsuccessfully to find a place on the web that might identify where it came from by the color of the leg band. I'll try to find out more information the next time I visit the site. I'm sure the leg band also has a number on it but you almost have to photograph it sitting in a nearby tree to pick up the number.

Here is a close-up of one Bald Eagle with leg bands ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
1:31 AM

Post #5780299

Another photo image with a red leg band. Could be the same bird ?

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dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 12, 2008
1:56 AM

Post #5780412

For alot of birds here we just report band colour for tracking purposes or a siting of an unusual but don't hear back unless that bird is out of recorded range. Then they might contact you for more specifics on the siting. I don't know if they would respond if you asked for info on origin of band colour but its worth a shot to email? I think its important to report to support the studies but because we have so many migratory birds here alot are well documented. When I lived in the Arctic that was a different ball of wax. That is where I saw my bald eagles in person. Breathtaking although I still think the snowy owls were the most significant for me because they're habitat was so remote from human access where I was. Thanks so much again for sharing this linthicum. They are so beautiful.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
2:32 AM

Post #5780645

Thanks, dahlianut. In the past, I have reported a number tag on a Canada Goose to a bird reporting site here in Maryland, at Patuxent Research Refuge. They told me that it originated from Ohio. I don't know if the colored band on the eagles is unique to a certain state or region. I think someone saw an eagle with a blue band and they said that it came down from New York.

Since looking closer at some of these photos I'm finding additional ones, I think. Here is one that looks as though there is something on his back with a wire showing ?

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
2:42 AM

Post #5780689

No noticeable leg bands or transmitters. Just another in-flight shot ...

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
2:51 AM

Post #5780724

Another in-flight photo ... with a red leg band. Trust me !!!

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
3:13 AM

Post #5780833

Last photo for now. This photo was taken at 700mm and is 100% crop, so sharpness is basically non-existent. Setting was 1/800 sec, F8 aperture priority, ISO 400.

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dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 12, 2008
3:23 AM

Post #5780875

O that last shot is breathtaking! Look at the expression and posture you've captured! I really hope you consider putting some of your shots in the photo contest next year so all the members can see them.

Seedtosser1

Seedtosser1
Glenview, IL

November 12, 2008
3:28 AM

Post #5780899

Oh MY God!!

What an Incredible shot!! Oh I am so glad I have been watching...This is spectacular as though I am right there.

...Yes, Indeed I sure am right there hoping you will submit your photos in the next Photo contest!

My night is now complete...

reminds me of another story...Ever see an Eagle literally swim? I haven't but a friend has!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
3:43 AM

Post #5780959

Seedtosser, I haven't seen an Eagle swim but I have seen an Osprey enjoying the water ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Seedtosser1

Seedtosser1
Glenview, IL

November 12, 2008
3:49 AM

Post #5780985

Linthicum, Awsom..Osprey are real cool to watch too...Until your photo haven't ever seen one swim either.

Very Cool Shot! Aren't they Pretty to watch as well?


MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 12, 2008
7:19 AM

Post #5781390

Fabulous images of spectacular birds , Linth.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 12, 2008
12:48 PM

Post #5781668

Fabulous pics Linth! This is an outstanding thread.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2008
1:28 PM

Post #5781750

Okay...have to clean my drool of the desk now.
The shot with the two passing is sooooooo cool!

and the rock shot and...

Seedtosser, that is a great memory to have about your mom. I have walked in that pair of shoes and know how it feels.
Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
2:05 PM

Post #5781872

Curious. How do they capture the Eagles to tag them? Or are they raised by humans and tagged at that point or both? Somenone educate me.

Thanks
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
3:15 PM

Post #5782170

Methodical, most, if not all, of the Bald Eagles are tagged while they are still in the nest, as eaglets. Someone who is skilled in doing this will climb up the tree and bring the eaglet down to be banded, blood tests, measurements, etc. and then taken back up. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has an Eagle Cam that will probably start operating in December. Periodically, they have had problems with the web cam while the eagles are on the nest and have climbed up to make repairs. Here is a website to Blackwater that you may find of interest. You should make an effort to visit during the winter months. They have a nice visitor center, a number of walking trails and a nice wildlife drive of several miles. Many waterfowl congregate here during the winter months.

http://www.friendsofblackwater.org/
Murmur
Whidbey Island, WA
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
5:34 PM

Post #5782770

Linth, I haven't been around much lately but happened upon this eagle thread of yours - and I can't possibly come up with the proper adjectives. So I will just say that they took my breath away and make me want to get out and about again with my camera.

WOW! (One of my more eloquent terms!)
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
8:15 PM

Post #5783308

Hello, Murmur . Nice to hear from you. Getting out into nature is good for the body and the mind. I'm sure you have areas around you that you could visit and take photos out of the car window, if necessary.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I took a lot of photos this past weekend. I mean a lot. Many are distant shots but I still look through them for perhaps something a little unusual, like the shadow in an above photo. When one eagle catches a fish, activity tends to pick up. I took about 10 images of two immature Bald Eagles in a chase. You can see a nice-sized fish in the talons of the lead eagle.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
8:21 PM

Post #5783328

After a long chase, the event ends up like this ... a dropped fish, or a "flying fish". Surprisingly, for whatever reason, they tend to drop a lot of fish.

What is basically a silhouette, the photo shows the fish in the air ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2008
8:28 PM

Post #5783356

Actually, I captured two photos while the fish was "flying" though the air ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 12, 2008
11:30 PM

Post #5783908

O the flying fish looks funny. Linthicum is it just the juveniles you notice dropping alot of fish or the adults too?
evie_beevie
Essex Junction, VT
(Zone 4a)

November 12, 2008
11:58 PM

Post #5784040

I ditto what Murmur said...wow
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2008
2:37 AM

Post #5784740

dahlianut, obviously the immature Bald Eagles are less experienced but the adults drop them also. You wouldn't think so with those talons ...

Thanks, evie_beevie.

Over the weekend, it was quite breezy and the eagles took advantage of the air currents. I would follow an eagle through my viewfinder and all of a sudden, a quick turn, and it would just disappear, only to have to find it again, and refocus. They glided swiftly through the skies with unparalleled splendor undaunted by the strong breeze.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

November 13, 2008
2:43 AM

Post #5784766

I still remember sitting in my car at a stoplight and seeing a fish land on a sidewalk nearby...then an adult Eagle swoop down to retrieve it! Not sure if he was being harassed or just had slippery talons! Great pics!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2008
2:47 AM

Post #5784784

Thanks, gardenpom ...

I see eagles in my sleep ... here's another shot. I'm trying to not duplicate the "flight pattern" as much as possible.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2008
2:55 AM

Post #5784821

A slightly different flight pose ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2008
3:28 AM

Post #5784929

A little change of pace. Off in the distance, a small flock of Double-crested Cormorants floating below an approaching adult Bald Eagle. The adjacent rocks provide individual perches for the many vultures, both Turkey and Black, and the Crows and Blackbirds among other species. Great Blue Herons are seen in large numbers. Last year, I counted over 50 while standing in one location.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 13, 2008
3:39 AM

Post #5784961

Wow, Linth. This continues to be an amazing thread. That first shot you posted today is a stunner, complemented by that beautiful sentence describing their journey through the sky.
dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

November 13, 2008
3:47 AM

Post #5784981

Nice pictures. They are such majestic birds. I'm so glad to see these increasing in the wild again.

I was fortunate enough to see one up close at one time. I was on a camping trip in the mountains outside San Diego. I had gone out to look over the small pond that was nearby early in the morning. I was sitting on a small rise when I heard something in the tree near me. There sitting on a branch 20 feet away, and looking at me, was a Bald Eagle. It took me about 3 seconds to go through the "no, that can't be, but what else could it be, it has to be" thinking to realize that it really was. It turned as swooped off the tree to glide over the pond and land on a tree on the opposite shore. There were 2 trees, so that was what it was using for a landing. I told people about it and they didn't believe me. Two weeks later there was an article in the newspaper about one of the pairs of Bald Eagles that were released into the wild taking up residence in the mountains East of San Diego.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2008
4:36 AM

Post #5785118

Thanks, Margaret. You're doing pretty good yourself with the Osprey thread and other Australian bird life.

dparsons01, thank you for sharing an awe-inspiring experience that I'm sure remains embedded in your memories forever.


The eagles love this wall ... when I arrived on Sunday morning there were 15 sitting on the wall. Here are 10 of them. I couldn't get them all in one photo.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2008
4:50 AM

Post #5785143

Last one for tonight. Looks like a 3 year old (estimated) Bald Eagle ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

November 13, 2008
6:15 AM

Post #5785304

I gather that is a great "swooping" wall.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
2:26 AM

Post #5788555

Don't worry about duplications!, I love every shot. Thanks so much for sharing this experience.
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 14, 2008
2:30 AM

Post #5788570

OMG the wall shot is amazing. I'm going to believe that the signage is to protect the eagle habitat (although probalby not but work with me folks).
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
4:08 AM

Post #5788891

Okay, here's a few more images taken this past weekend ...


Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
4:10 AM

Post #5788900

Another ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
4:11 AM

Post #5788908

And another ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

November 14, 2008
4:12 AM

Post #5788912

You can see the band around the Eagles ankle and a wire in post #5788891. I gather they are being monitored.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
4:17 AM

Post #5788932

This one has a red leg band and a fish tucked away underneath ...

It's hard to pick up a band number while in flight. The best opportunity is if you can find them perched close by which some photographers have done. I'll inquire to determine if the red leg bands have a definitive origin.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
4:19 AM

Post #5788939

A small group of Bald Eagles in the distance ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
4:20 AM

Post #5788942

One more ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 14, 2008
4:22 AM

Post #5788948

Linthicum I'm so glad so many of the eagles you're photographying are banded. I think it means that no matter what the development plans in the area it's well documented as eagle habitat. That's just my thoughts because we're having trouble with wetlands here.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
3:11 PM

Post #5790052

It's definitely eagle habitat. They feast on the shad that live in the waters below the dam. I found it interesting that the dam has two elevator lifts that lift the shad to the waters above the dam so that they may continue their migratory journey north. Adult shad migrate each Spring from the ocean to the fresh waters upstream where they spawn. An average adult female shad produces 300,000 eggs.

Here is another photo of three eagles fighting over a fish just caught by one of them ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
3:50 PM

Post #5790187

Another sequence photo ... it's very easy to do when the colors in the sky remain constant ...

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Murmur
Whidbey Island, WA
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
5:16 PM

Post #5790505

That is one of the most incredible photos ever, Linth! Yes, eagles surely do show up best against a beautiful blue sky, but as always your photography skills are what has really done the trick.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2008
8:19 PM

Post #5791146

Thanks, Murmur.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, my thoughts, for a moment, turned to the historical background pertaining to the selection of the Bald Eagle as our national symbol. Had Ben Franklin had his way, it would have been the Wild Turkey. He characterized the Bald Eagle as, " a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched in some dead tree where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing hawk (Osprey) and, when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish and is bearing it to his nest for his young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes the fish. With all this injustice, he is never in good case." On the other hand, he saw the turkey as "a much more respectable bird and a true native of America." He conceded that the turkey was "a little vain and silly," but maintained that it was nevertheless a "bird of courage" that "would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on." Congress was not convinced, however, and the eagle remained our national symbol. Thank goodness ...

If the turkey had become our national symbol, would we still eat it on Thanksgiving Day ? It just wouldn't seem right to EAT our "National Symbol" on Thanksgiving Day, now, would it ?

Good ole' Ben Franklin must have gotten one too many shocks from his kite experiment !!!

This message was edited Nov 14, 2008 3:21 PM

Thumbnail by linthicum
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dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 14, 2008
8:24 PM

Post #5791168

That is hysterical. Besides isn't the turkey the national bird of Turkey?? I don't think you can have the same national bird as another country. or maybe you can. Who would stop you?

This message was edited Nov 14, 2008 1:25 PM

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 14, 2008
9:00 PM

Post #5791270

Quoting:Besides isn't the turkey the national bird of Turkey??

Nope - Turkeys (the bird) have nothing to do with Turkey (the country), they don't even occur there except as farm poultry.

Resin
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 14, 2008
9:02 PM

Post #5791275

Well Resin that's just funky weird IMHO. It's a natural fit.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 14, 2008
9:07 PM

Post #5791288

In Turkey, Turkeys are called "Hindi": http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culuh ;-)
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 14, 2008
9:11 PM

Post #5791297

I just found out that Turkey doesn't have a national bird. How very sad. They do, however, have a national flower: the tulip. ( I wonder if the Dutch know about this :O)

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 14, 2008
11:40 PM

Post #5791744

So glad that Ben lost that argument!!
OPbirder
Orchard Park, NY

November 15, 2008
1:02 PM

Post #5793252

ditto nanny. I really enjoy turkey.

Fantastic photos linth. This is as close to seeing a live eagle as I've ever experienced. Just amazing. Thanks linth.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 15, 2008
2:31 PM

Post #5793456

Outstanding shots Linth! Love the sequence photo!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 15, 2008
10:32 PM

Post #5794985

Wonderful shots, Linth. That pigeon's a bit ambitious, isn't it?
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 16, 2008
2:55 PM

Post #5797016

TV Alert -

On November 16 (TODAY) at 8pm (EST), "Nature" on PBS will air their special called "American Bald Eagle."

Here's another photo from last weekend. I've taken a break this weekend. Yesterday was rainy all day and today is extremely windy and on the chilly side.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

November 16, 2008
4:17 PM

Post #5797394

Thanks' for the info, Linth.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 16, 2008
6:23 PM

Post #5797849

Thanks Linth!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 16, 2008
9:47 PM

Post #5798573

Well, all good things do not have to come to an end, so "fly like an eagle" and come on over to my new thread.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/924419/

Thumbnail by linthicum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 16, 2008
11:07 PM

Post #5798802

In regard to the special called "American Bald Eagle" on PBS, please check your individual schedules. It actually starts at 7:00 p.m. in my area so I might have provided incorrect times. Sorry !
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

November 16, 2008
11:08 PM

Post #5798805

Special starts at 8 here, Linth.

Thumbnail by gardenpom
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 17, 2008
12:40 AM

Post #5799132

yep, 7pm on my local station (Central)
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

October 3, 2009
3:31 AM

Post #7129311

*bump*

These are awesome photos! I am definitely going to try to get up there to Conowingo in the next few weeks!

Nice job!
Rose1656
Oquawka, IL
(Zone 5a)

October 5, 2009
12:58 AM

Post #7135217

Thank you for bumping this thread...I missed it last year. Wonderful pictures of beautiful birds. Ours will be here in a couple of months. Can't wait.

Rose

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