It's 5:30am, Sunday morning, and the alarm is going off... on purpose. If you want the best wildlife and nature pictures, that means taking them during the early morning hours (my preference) or close to sunset. The photography term for this time is day is known as "The Golden Hour". I knew this nest site would set up much better for a morning shoot versus an afternoon attempt, as was the case with my first visit.
After having gathered all my gear the night before, I was quickly out of the house, and on the water by 6:00. Within 20 minutes of paddling in the perfectly calm back-water channel, I slowly approached the same long-distance surveillance spot as last week and observed the adult eagle perched on the identical branch as before. Once again, I could also make out the movement of at least one of the immature birds still in the nest.
I paddled as slowly as I could to get to where I wanted to spend a few hours taking pictures. Today's additional gear was a gimbal head attachment for my tripod for added stability, and a teleconverter, which extends the range of my current telephoto lens by 1.4x. It was my hope that with the upgrade in gear, an already-established ambush location, and mother nature's serving of awesome morning light, I could greatly improve upon the quality of the pictures I shared on my first visit. All in all, I consider the mission a success. Below, I've shared my best images from today, as well as a short video showing one of the young birds feeding on some old food (looks like a small fish) in the nest.
Thank you all for taking the time to read, and enjoy, this latest post. I'll try to keep them coming as regularly as possible.
The adult eagle calls up to the nest, as it seems to do regularly. The quality and direction of the light this morning was a huge difference maker compared to my first attempt to photograph these amazing birds.
In this next picture, I caught the eagle just as it was leaving the perch
In this last image of the adult bird, I captured that true, intimidating eagle stare. Love this one!
Now, on to the young eagles. As I mentioned last week, these birds are huge. I would estimate they are only slightly smaller than their parent.
Here's a picture of both birds on the same side of this massive nest.
Lastly, here's a short video showing one of the young feeding on what appears to be a small fish 'left over' for breakfast.