Happy Sunday, Everyone!
The other morning while I was driving home from work along the Great River Road I was keeping an eye out for Eagles. This is the time of year when they arrive to nest along our branch of the Mississippi River. I took my camera along with hopes of capturing at least one photo of the iconic bird that perches in this one tree close to the river. He (or she) is not in a nest, but out hunting and keeping an eye on the river and river bank, I suppose. Well, he wasn't there but I noticed a car pulled over on the opposite side of the highway. I turned around and pulled over and spotted this guy having his breakfast.
He has a huge fish in his grip and I now wish I had video of this but I was just too afraid to switch modes on my camera for fear of missing a good shot. I don't have anything fancy, just a Nikon Coolpix L810. It's just more or less a point and shoot, but it has a 26x zoom and quite a bit of great settings for a beginner. Eventually I would love a more professional camera, but I need to learn how to use it before I spend a lot of money on one.
I wasn't really sure if this was a male or female, so I went online last night and found some awesome YouTube videos from a live feed of Eagle watching. You can view the ones I watched to figure out this ones sex here and a very endearing one of a mama Eagle trying to feed her very independent three day old Eaglet here. But be careful...these amazing animals are addicting to watch!
Anyway, I thought this one was quite small when I was watching him, and believed him to be a young male. After watching the very good video above, I believe that to be the case. He's eating alone, too, not taking his prey to a nest, though I don't know if that even has any significance. Males are about 30% smaller than females, have brighter heads and more distinct eyes (or 'guy-liner' as the first video above will tell you). My camera zoom was maxed out, or I would have a much closer look...
(you can click on the first picture and be taken to a gallery of the pics in this post and they are bigger)
Look at that! This was such an awesome experience. I know of a place nearby where a family has always nested for all the years that I've lived here. I've not checked this year yet, and I know my camera probably will not be able to zoom as close as I would like, but if I get that sweet little family, I'll be sure to post something about them!
These next two are blurry, he was moving so fast I didn't have time to focus. When he had enough fish (or maybe enough of our watching, perhaps) he took off out of that tree and flew right by us over the highway and out over the river. Now, that, I wish I really had on video!
I hope you liked this post, and it encourages you to go out into your own local environment. There is so much to see and learn from nature, as you'll find from the Eaglet video. It really is so sweet. If you have any Eagle watching experience or information to help enhance our viewing experience, please comment! I would love to hear from you!
Have a great rest of the weekend and a fabulous week!