Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 3: The Iowa Bald Eagles

Well, weather wise, today was more of the same... foggy,  overcast, grey skies. I still haven't seen the sun since I arrived on Saturday. Maybe , JUST maybe, some sun tomorrow?

Kirby left this morning. Tom and I spent another 4 hours with the eagles this afternoon. Here were far fewer photogs today, maybe 15 at the most. Though we did get some decent images today ( I only shot 40GB today), the eagle activity was less today. We had about the same number eagles around us. At one time, 6 (in a row) took off across the Mississippi River with a leader.. the lead eagle harassed a duck with a couple of passes then gave up, flew back to west shore and the other 5 followed him back... too funny!

I met a local photog today and he said the eagles will be around until early March then a large number of pelicans arrive in April/May and will hang around until the Fall.

I got a nice shot of an eagle (who was perched for a long period of time) then suddenly he swooped out of the tree down to the river, "snatched something" and flew back to his perch. I didn't see anything in his talons but I zoomed the image and he nailed a fish with his beak and ate it on the way back to his perch! Thats what I call drive thru take-out!  The agility and accuracy (of their hunting skills) is nothing short of astounding!

The highlight of the day was two adults started flying together, then separated, then flying together in essence "chasing each other" around the tree tops, over our heads (just several yards above us), at a high rate of speed, darting and dodging... They were very difficult to track through my camera viewfinder as they were so close and so fast... I was able to snap a few with the 500f4 and felt lucky to get this image below.  I never get tired of watching eagles....

Please check back for Day 4 tomorrow... I hope for better light!

Here is an image of the two adults flying together right over my head....


  1. Another great shot Mark! This place would be great for group shoot for eagle and perhaps pelican too in April/May! Hoorah!