Just sitting here listening to the Republican debate and thinking to myself – the main loser tonight is CNN. Their party bias is so evident tonight it is at comedy level. If you don’t believe me, see if they ask these same questions at a Democrat debate. Then again, not sure that party can handle a question beyond what is your favorite Girl Scout cookie. By the way, if they answer anything but Thin Mints they can’t be trusted.

Rather than concentrate on the Trump baiting I’ll focus on something more fruitful – another post. Thought I would give you bonus post in celebration of Leap Year.
Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

I actually processed these pictures some time ago. They were taken on a trip up to Davenport Iowa along the Mississippi River. Embarrassingly, this was in March of last year, but hey, still an improvement over the Yellowstone timing which was back in 2013. The reasons for going with this previous set instead of a more recent shoot is due to one main issue – lack of Eagles this year. We’ve been up to the Quad Cities a couple of times now and I think each time we were lucky to find one.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Hit the jump to see some more shots of these beautiful birds.

Last year there were plenty of Eagles around and at one point we counted well over 30. This year the warmer Winter must be keeping them in the Northern regions. Typically the freezing water limits there hunting zones pushing them down our way. As you saw in a previous post, I did find some down in Emiquon, but beyond that pretty slim pickens.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Oddly enough, there was actually a juvi or early year Eagle hanging out about two miles from our house this year. We mistakenly thought it was a Turkey Vulture when we first drove by it, but as soon as it unfurled those long wings and took flight there was no doubt it was feathered royalty. Usually the King (or Queen to be fair) of the skies tends to live off of a fish diet, but this one seemed to be hunting the fields for substance. It hung around for a couple of weeks before disappearing.

Speaking of unfurled wings, thought I’d provide some in-flight shots. Here it is on the prowl.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Prey spotted!

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Time to put down the flaps and drop the instruments of death.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

The shot above is one of my favorites from a composition perspective. Unfortunately, I was just a tad late on the execution of the kill below. There was another shot in the tin just after it popped the water, but I clipped the left wing – bummer.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

A few more shots from the sky – talons tucked away.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Picking up speed

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

“I’m King of the World” … and you puny flightless people are my serfs

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Thought I would throw this one in – typically up in the Quad Cities there are groups of Eagles to shoot. These two were hanging out just down from the 280 bridge in Davenport. I like this composition because they look like sentries keep a 360 degree lookout for intruders. I find them a very watchful species even though they are pretty much on the top of the food chain – only real enemy is the Owl because those dudes are just plain mean.

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Like I said, these Eagles are a cautious bunch. Luckily their awareness doesn’t translate into a nervousness. They’ll check you off from time to time, but they tend to stay calm on their perch – one reason photographers love to shoot Eagles (almost as photo-friendly as Herons).

Eagles Along Mississippi River in March 2015

Well, the yelling .. I mean the debating is over so time to wrap this up. The most reassuring thing about this whole night is the fact anyone on that stage would make a better president than what we have today.


2 thoughts on “Royalty”

  1. Again, really nice photographs here! I enjoyed taking lots of pics of Bald Eagles along the Fox River this winter, sometimes with a couple dozen of them. I would post them on a blog somewhere but that would set some kind of precedent I would NOT like to set!

    The sequence is great, too. BTW, I think that last eagle is looking at you with scorn.

    Thanks for these great pics! I only got a few really good eagle pics along the Fox River, and only two that are nearly as good as the ones here.



  2. Again, I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice – posting on Facebook constitutes posting on a blog so yes, you do have a blog now and you better get to posting if you want to start claiming all those +1s!

    Linda and I have the benefit of being up in Davenport for a number of visits during the Winter which gives us access to all the Bald Eagles that migrate down to the Mississippi as their Summer and Fall hunting waters begin to freeze over. It is really good practice (and exercise) for me to take the Beast out and draw a bead on the flying Eagles. Need to keep those arms in shape for all our birding excursions.

    That last Eagle was definitely pissed at me. It let me take this shot before I started bringing out my tripod. It waited until I had all the legs out and the glass mounted before it took off – pissed and spiteful … baaaad combination for a top echelon bird


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