Fun Friday: Hijacked!

Today’s post features a long sequence of images I captured of a mid-air hijacking of a fish, by a Bald Eagle. This sequence was captured a few years ago as wintering bald eagles were fishing in the Mississippi River, near LeClaire, Iowa.

Here’s the scenario …

An immature Bald Eagle spots a fish in the river and begins his approach for the capture:

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

With fish locked in his right leg’s talons, he emerges from the dip into the river and heads to find a suitable perch to eat his catch:

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

But within a blink of an eye, a nearby adult Bald Eagle spots the captured fish and begins his aerial assault to take the fish away:

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Getting ever closer, the adult hones in on the catch:

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Ready to make contact, the adult reaches in and grabs the fish out of the immature eagle’s talons:

Bald Eagle fishing

Below is an enlargement of this last image:

Bald Eagle fishing

With his newly “caught” meal, the adult heads off to enjoy his catch:

Bald Eagle fishing

As the adult flies off, the immature bald eagle is seen following him, but quickly realizes he has lost the battle, and gives up on the chase:

Bald Eagle fishing

And the adult Bald Eagle flies over me to a nearby tree, fish tucked under his tail feathers:

Bald Eagle fishing in the river

These rare moments are exciting to experience!

This week, I’ve started my wildflower hikes in the Ozarks area, so stay tuned for images that I capture during my outings. Wildflowers are just beginning to peak through the leaf clutter, so won’t be long!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400 mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4X TC
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/11
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec. to 1/2500 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2015, 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Revisiting Aerial Antics

Today’s post features a series of images I captured in Clarksville, Missouri, a few years ago (these images were posted several years ago, but upon request I’m re-posting them). During a wintering eagle photography trip on the Mississippi River, this sequence was captured as an adult Bald Eagle caught a fish, but was immediately chased by six more eagles attempting to take the fish from him.

In this first image, the chase is on … the adult eagle (top, righthand side) has just caught a fish and several other eagles have started chasing him:

Chasing the Fish

In this next image, you can clearly see the fish in the eagle’s talons, although not secured with both feet:

Chasing the Fish

In this next image, the process of trying to dodge the six eagles chasing him has caused the fish to come loose and free-fall:

Chasing the Fish

And the winner is … the immature eagle, who was nearest the chased eagle:

Chasing the Fish

Coming up … another post of wintering bald eagle antics …

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500 mm, f/4 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/10
  • Shutter Speed 1/640 sec. to 1/800 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2010, 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Spring Invasion

Today’s post features an image I captured just a couple of days ago … a male (drake) Bufflehead flying into our cove. The spring bird migration is underway and several duck species have been spotted, including the Buffleheads. This little guy was making his way into our cove at the Lake of the Ozarks, to fish:

Bufflehead drake in flight

Coming up … I’ll be featuring more duck images I’ve captured so far, in this early bird migration season. Also, a good friend requested that I re-post some images on bald eagles pirating fish from other eagles … that will show up soon.  And just yesterday, I spotted about a dozen American white pelicans circling overhead … unfortunately, none landed, but I’m keeping my eyes to the sky!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500 mm, f/4 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/6.3
  • Shutter Speed 1/800 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Leave a comment

Fishing 101

Today’s post features a sequence of images I captured last Friday, right behind our boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri). With the entire lake freezing over, several dead fish were on the surface of the thin ice. As I was photographing some nearby ducks (upcoming posts), an adult Bald Eagle circled overhead, his eyes glued to one of the fish:

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

In this next image, you can see the fish, just before capture:

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bam! You’re mine, now!

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

Bald Eagle fishing

It’s always so thrilling to be able to witness nature in action, and especially up close! Coming up … some recent ducks that visited our cove.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500 mm, f/4 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/250 sec. to 1/1600 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Live Eagle Totem

Today’s “Fun Friday” post comes from the “Valley of Eagles”, in Alaska’s Chilkat River Valley, in 2008. This image is a good example of how the wintering bald eagles “can” get along with each other. When not busy getting food, they are often, pretty communal birds, roosting together in trees overnight. But when the morning comes, all bets are off … it’s dinner time!

This image reminded me of the always interesting totem poles that I’ve seen through my many travels of Alaska … only this one was a living totem! :

Snowy tree of Bald Eagles

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400 mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4X TC
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/400 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2008, 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Alaska Bald Eagles

Today’s post features some more Bald Eagle images I captured in Alaska’s Chilkat River Valley, in 2008. This second trip to this area, included some frigid temperatures and a nice, snowy landscape!

In this first image a single, adult Bald Eagle perches in a snowy tree. Note the fishing lure wrapped around the limb below him … this is also a popular place for humans to fish!

Bald Eagle adult

I was able to capture this nice eagle as it rested just a short distance away:

Bald Eagle adult

This next eagle is about to snag a nice salmon (you can see the fish’s dorsal fin out of the water):

Bald Eagle about to catch a Salmon

The Chilkat River Valley is truly a gathering of eagles during this late, and final salmon run of the year:

Bald Eagles in Alaska's Chilkat River Valley

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400 mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800 and ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/7.1 and f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/40 sec. to /200 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2008, 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

A Tad Bit Cold!

Today’s post features some of my aerial (drone) photographs I captured over the Lake of the Ozarks, a few days ago. With frigid temperatures, little sun, and sometimes harsh winds, our cove completely froze over! Here are a few images I captured with my drone:

Iced-up Lake of the Ozarks

Iced-up Lake of the Ozarks

Iced-up Lake of the Ozarks

Iced-up Lake of the Ozarks

This next image is a closeup of some of the ice formations, from overhead. Some of the cracks in the ice resemble little “spiders”:

Iced-up Lake of the Ozarks

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, with built-in camera
  • Aperture f/6.3
  • Shutter 1/200 sec. to 1/400 sec.
  • Focal Length 8.8mm
  • ISO 100

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Drone Photography, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography | Tags:
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Working at Home

Working at home during these days of Covid-19 is not a unique situation. But for me, working at home has been a very pleasurable experience lately … it is so exciting, and so much fun to walk out the back door, and photograph wintering Bald Eagles as they fish the lake waters.

Over the past week, I have often seen multiple Bald Eagles each day, and once even 7 eagles in the air at once … all over our cove here, at the Lake of the Ozarks! Here are a few of my favorite catches from Saturday.

An adult eagle fishing our cove:

Bald Eagle

Some immature and sub-adult eagles:

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

This next sub-adult eagle was soaring over the lake, when he suddenly broke into a dive:

Bald Eagle

Maintaining focus, he pursued his fish all the way to the water … unfortunately, the fish was behind our neighbor’s boat dock!

Bald Eagle

I was hoping for some more great days of bald eagle photography here, but the incredibly cold temperatures of the past couple of days has caused the cove to freeze over. But with warmer temperatures late this week, there may be some thawing … and maybe the return of the eagles to our cove … fingers crossed!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon100-400 mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens, all shot at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/2,000 sec. to /4,000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Bad Hair Day

Today’s post features an interesting sight I captured in Rocky Mountain NP (Colorado) in 2008. During the fall rut, I was busy photographing the behaviors of the Elk. This bull elk, hormones raging, had just “plowed” up the ground as he was trying to impress some nearby cow elk:

Bull Elk

Strange, erratic, and even dangerous/unexpected behavior is often exhibited by such mammals when they go through the rut … never approach an animal when their hormones are so active!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500 mm, f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4X TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wimberley gimbal head
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/320 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2008, 2021, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

“I See You!”

Today’s post features an image I captured in 2009, while on a 10-day adventure in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. This image was captured in the Laguna San Ignacio wintering grounds of the Gray Whale. In late fall, gray whales migrate to this refuge to give birth to young whales, and to mate with other gray whales.

This adult gray whale was captured close to our boat, as it “spyhopped”.  Spyhopping is the term to describe the whale behavior as it glides straight up, out of the water, to look around at it’s above-water surroundings. In this image, you can clearly see the whale’s eye, as it watches us for a brief moment:

Gray Whale "spyhopping"

Coming up … more past adventure images, including some more from Baja.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon100-400 mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, on boat, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/800 sec.

 

 

 

Posted in 2009, 2021, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment