Peg-Leg, a Source of Inspiration

Today’s post features “Peg-Leg”, an adult Bald Eagle we found during my recent “Wintering Bald Eagles” photo workshop on the Mississippi River. At first, Peg-Leg appeared to have only one leg. But after watching him fly and fish in front of us for a while, we could see he had one leg tucked up under his tail (as is the normal flying position for the leg), and the other leg was always hanging down. If you look closely in this photo, you will see one leg folded back and under the tail:

Adult Bald Eagle with one broken leg

But this “handicap” was not a hindrance¬† to this otherwise healthy bird. A little later we watched him, time and again, successfully fishing the Mississippi River. Here is a sequence of one of those events:

Adult Bald Eagle with one broken leg, fishing

If you look closely, you can see a small fish in his left leg:

Adult Bald Eagle with one broken leg, fishing

Adult Bald Eagle with one broken leg, fishing

Adult Bald Eagle with one broken leg, fishing

This bird was interesting to watch. Other than a little “drag” when flying, his droopy, broken leg was not much of an issue for this inspiring bird.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC, shot at 700mm
  • Bogen 3221 Tripod, with Wemberly Gimbal Head
  • ISO 1200 (shot at this high ISO to keep shutter speed very fast, via Shutter Priority mode, to freeze the wing movement)
  • Aperture f/11
  • Shutter 1/1600 sec. to 1/4000 sec.

 

 

 

Posted in Bird Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Workshop, Travel Photography
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