Posts Tagged ‘Raptors

24
Aug
12

Osprey Searching for Lunch

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23
Apr
12

Bald Eagle Carrying Food to the Nest

With having to return to work today, last evening was the last chance for this weekend to capture anymore eagle shots.  I had a very good weekend photographing many small birds; bluebirds, cardinals, a piper I haven’t identified yet, geese, ducks, whitetail deer, warblers of varying kinds, some thrushes and finally an eagle flew right over my spot.

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Bald Eagles are opportunists; fishing, hunting or scavenging for food.  I have many photos of eagles scavenging road-killed deer as well as photos of them fishing.  These are the first photos I have of an eagle showing they can hunt as well.  Hidden behind a bush which prevented them from seeing me as they flew back across the lake toward their nest this eagle flew directly over me carrying an American Coot or what we call a marsh hen.  The American Coot pictured below is from my picture archive taken in March of 2009.  Coots are a favorite meal of Bald Eagles.

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Since this bird is carrying food back to the nest it also means their eaglets have hatched.  The eaglets will hatch around the last week of March to the first week of April.  They grow quickly, requiring the parents to make more and more trips with food back to the nest.  Last night as I sat photographing they made four trips in and out of the nest, bringing back a coot each time.

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Right as this eagle reached the tree-line and disappeared he spotted me.  The three other trips made into the nest took a different route, but I still got some nice shots as they carried food back to the young.

22
Apr
12

Eagle in Flight and Earth Day

I didn’t have much luck photographing eagles this weekend and with the work-week fast approaching this evening will probably be the last opportunity until next weekend.

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A photo of an eagle still seems an appropriate tribute for Earth Day.

Earth Day started here in Wisconsin as the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970.  At that time, due to the widespread use of an insecticide called DDT, bald eagles had reached near extinction in Wisconsin with fewer than fifty eagles left in the wild, while having ceased to exist in the rest of the United States lower forty-eight states.  Alaska and Canada were about the only places you could see them.

DDT was used throughout WWII and afterward to rid us of mosquitoes.  Unfortunately, DDT would runoff into lakes and other waterways where it would be absorbed into fish or ingested by fish when eating infested insects.  Eagles would then eat the fish.  They are great fishers and if you’ve ever witnessed them capture and eat a fish while in flight then you know it is an amazing feat.  The DDT would then affect the eagle’s eggshells, causing them to easily break when the eagles attempted to rest on the eggs.  When scientists discovered the link between DDT and the near-extinction of eagles and other birds, the environmental movement of the late sixties and early seventies fought for and successfully got the chemical banned in the US in 1972.

Since then bald eagles have steadily recovered with what is believed to be well over two thousand nesting pairs in Wisconsin.  The recovery has been so successful Wisconsin has a program in place where it captures eagles and attempts to transplant them in other areas of the United States such as California and New York.

21
Apr
12

Bald Eagle

I went out very early this morning trying to get photos of the local eagles.  They have a knack for keeping the sun in my eyes and thus into the camera.  So while I’m able to see them, I haven’t been able to capture them.  This photo is of an adult bald eagle guarding the nest.  In a few more days, when all the foliage has filled in, I won’t be able to even get this shot.

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02
May
10

Getting Acquainted

Yesterday morning, when I went to the lake to scout places to shoot, I noticed several Whitetail Deer.  I counted about four or five.  The area at the lake is much more compact, so the chance to encounter some of the residents should be greater.  For instance, when I began walking down to the lake’s edge this morning, I noticed an Owl perched in a tree.

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While at the lake this morning, as I scoured the horizon to see the elusive Eagles, I could hear deer moving around behind me.  Curiosity got the best of this doe.  She had snorted several warnings to her family, but then couldn’t help approaching my position.  We exchanged greetings and she allowed me to take several pictures before she turned and ran away.

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While I made acquaintances with the deer, the Eagles remained on the other side of the lake.

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21
May
09

Broad-winged Hawk

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Like the elusive Red Fox that I finally got one picture of, I’ve been seeing a pair of Broad-winged Hawks.

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I have several really bad shots of them in flight, but did manage to get a couple shots of this one perched.

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Intolerant of humans, like most raptors, this one responded to his mate’s call and flew off its perch as I approached.

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