Find ‘em, Relax ‘em, Cock ‘em, Stab ‘em and Lift ‘em

And we are back on the Mississippi River for the second part of the spoils from the recent Davenport, IA Eagle run.  As promised, part two will take you from the more traditional shots like this.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

(mental note, go back and lighten this one up) and bring you more action oriented perspective like this immature preparing to bring death to those that dare swim too close to the surface.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to see a crap load of action images from the Davenport shoot.

Continue reading Find ‘em, Relax ‘em, Cock ‘em, Stab ‘em and Lift ‘em

Featuring Fresh Friday Finds for Followers

Welcome everyone!  Today we are bringing you something right off the presses… err, rather out of the digital darkroom.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Yep, the Bald Eagle is once again front and center.  If you recall, January was  closed with a 3 part series on our country’s national bird (link here, here and here).  Originally thought about holding off on featuring Eagles again so soon.  Problem is, I made a commitment to you to emphasize fresher shoots – well for at least part of the week.  In that vein, how about some tins from TWO days ago!?! (a round of golf claps please ha)

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to see a few more of the traditional Eagle shots.

Continue reading Featuring Fresh Friday Finds for Followers

Shooting Behavior – Eagle Perspectives Part 3

Well, the extended roadtrip has officially come to the end.  We arrived back home to snow on the ground and temperatures our bodies downright reject.  To the best of my ability I’ll be covering the sites and sights in the coming months (possibly years ha).  The image hopper is officially overflowing due to more than a terabyte of content we managed to bring back with us.  Admittedly the shot total was inflated this trip due to my retirement gift to myself – finally gave in and purchased a new camera body.  Every photography becomes one with their gear over the years, their babies if you will.  Every setting that needed to be changed could be done by muscle memory without ever taking my eye off the subject.  Each button, dial, menu setting custom configured to rapidly transition to different scenarios in the field.  Similarity to the current body was a key determiner for the replacement – as to be expected there were a few differences and anomalies that have to be familiarized with over time.  Missed a lot of shots this trip that irked me every time and for those I dive have time to experiment, the shot count increased tremendously.  Fingers crossed we’ll find something in the digital darkroom worth sharing.  Question is… how long will it take to get this comfortable with the new rig…

American Bald Eagle found in Bettendorf, IA, in January 2017

There has been a heavy focus on our national bird this month.  Two posts previous and now today’s feature as well.  This third and final part of the American Bald Eagle perspectives analysis completes the progression from the traditional shots that have overfilled my digital darkroom to the more interesting angles that has now become the quest in our Eagle outings.

American Bald Eagle found in Davenport, IA, in January 2017

Hit the jump to see a few more interesting perspectives of our majestic bird.

Continue reading Shooting Behavior – Eagle Perspectives Part 3

Progression – Eagle Perspectives Part 2

For starters, I now have two new unexpected benefits of the pandemic today.  Ever have one of those situations when the perfect song comes on, your toes start tapping seemingly without your brain prompting it and all of a sudden you find yourself singing along OUT LOUD?  Once you come to your senses, you start looking around and notice pairs of eyes staring at you, judging you, finding you wanting.  Sheepishly you look away hoping your fifty shades of red don’t show up on the Internet.  Guess what, as long as the music and ambient sounds are above your vocal cord vibrations – let it rip – no one will know what is going on behind that mask – quite liberating if you ask me.  Oh, and the other side effect is you are no longer required to force a smile for selfies.  Just keep your eyes open and send the Kilroy impersonation to all your messaging friends.

Now for a quick apology.  In the last post I alluded to a two parter for the Eagle shot progression.  Turns out, I should have referred to it as a three parter.  Decided not to burn up your image cache and hold back a series for another day.  Hope you like our national bird as you will be getting your fill of them for sure.

American Bald Eagle found in Bettendorf, IA, in January 2017

Continuing on from the last post, I was commenting on the number of standard Eagle shots I’ve collected over the years.  Overwhelming to be honest, but I enjoy these mighty creatures and find myself snapping away whenever we encounter them.  In the last post I showcased the more traditional shots.

American Bald Eagle found in Davenport, IA, in January 2017

Hit the jump to see some more offerings from the Eagle folder.

Continue reading Progression – Eagle Perspectives Part 2

Triggered

Howdy folks.  Feeling a bit of sadness at the moment for our exploration is entering its last leg as we begin our return.  As a welcome home gift, Mother Nature has decided to throw a blizzard in our honor – we might be able to outlast it depending on our return path, but will not be holding our breaths – Midwest states have a way of making sure you never forget you chose to live in a four season state.  The good news is the trip was very successful and bringing back tins full of 2021 fodder… err ’22.. hmm ’23 ugh.  In truth, it isn’t really the snaps that I’ll remember the most, rather the great people I had the chance to meet along the way.  There is something about the birding community that is truly special – always friendly, always willing to share and always eager to help on an ID or provide timely education.  Gives you a feeling of hope as we’ve met people from all over the US that understand what it means to be courteous, kind and well, for lack of a better term, civilized. I’ll go into more details on the great people we met as the new trip posts roll out.  Until then, wanted to get to a topic I’ve been delaying for a while.

American Bald Eagle found in Bettendorf, IA in January 2017

Our great country’s national bird, the American Bald Eagle.  Truly in the upper echelon of what I classify as majestic birds.  They literally demand your reverence when they are around.  Calm, cool, collected and strong all wrapped in a feathered shell capable of deadly force.

American Bald Eagle found in Bettendorf, IA in January 2017

Hit the jump to see some more Eagles on sticks!

Continue reading Triggered

Three Shades of Brown

Curses to you short months!!   Here I was thinking I had plenty of time to address my shortfall with the self-imposed monthly post quota.  Then I look at the calendar to assess the maximum amount of procrastination that could be factored in and then I see it.  Actually, more like DIDN’T see the assumed extra day.  Instead, just an outlined box with the number 1 in it.  Staring at me, taunting me, farting in my general “dee-rection” (in my finest French accent).  As luck would have it, I have some time to address this issue thanks to heading up to Mayo for Linda’s first annual checkup.  Oh, and any talk about purposely delaying this post until we were on the road so I wouldn’t have to drive is assuredly false (as far as you know).   Okay, let’s see what today’s featured feathered friend is going to be.

House Wren found at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Spring Grove IL. June 2019

Unlike the last couple of posts, we are short on color today.  We basically have our lighter brown, our brown and wait for it .. our darker brown.  If this species is unfamiliar to you, you might be tempted to tally it up as just another brown jobber.  Normally that would be a safe bet, however, our little bird is not from the Sparrow, rather the Wren family.  Oddly enough, this is one of the few times you will see them pictured where their tails are not positioned above the body line.  In fact, even the next shot has its tail shifted down – bonus!

House Wren found at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Spring Grove IL. June 2019

Hit the jump to read more about this drab bird.

Continue reading Three Shades of Brown

Royalty

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.

Continue reading Royalty

From the Eagle’s Nest – Part 2 of 2

Okay, I am watching another blowout in the Rose Bowl and to be honest, the most annoying part is having to listen to the most biased announcer in the lot – that’s right, I sleep with my USC teddy bear Brent Musberger.  Rather than put myself through anymore of that misery, I’ve decided turn off the TV volume and crank out the second part of the post on the Eagles.

Bald Eagle - A Majestic View

Last I left you, we were viewing an elegant bird preparing to rip the innards out of a recently plucked from the river fish,  I figured I would provide a little better shot of the final pane of that collage to give you a perspective on that powerful beak.  For PETA’s sake I am sure he gently messaged it to sleep before he ripped right through the scales and started munching down on the nutrients.  Maybe if we ask him nicely he’ll switch to a steady diet of alfalfa sprouts.

Eagle eating a recently captured fish

Follow the jump for details on the actual catch.

Continue reading From the Eagle’s Nest – Part 2 of 2