Eagles Through the D90

 Juv Eagle Taking Flight

I can’t remember if I mentioned if previously, but we purchased a new camera a month or so ago.  The previous pictures (particularly the wildlife photos) were taken with a Nikon D70.  I actually really like that camera and does a great job with the exception of low light.  The 70 can only go to 1600, but the Nikon D90 can go to 3200 which makes it better for the indoor dog show pictures my wife spends her time on.  The remainder of this year will be spend trying to figure out how to use all those new features.  We took it on a test run up in Davenport IA again and the shots were fantastic.  The reduction for this website cuts the quality some, however, they still stand out in my opinion.  The image above of the juvenile taking flight is one of my favorites.

For some reason there were no eagles at our standard spot (at the locks in Davenport).  It was a little late in the season and the temps were starting to head upwards generally signaling their departure.  Disappointed, we headed back to Davenport to see if they were down on Rockingham.  As we drove along the river I noticed a pair of them sitting up trees.  They were actually perched on the opposite side of the road from the river and basically in the front yard of a mansion.

Eagle Pair

This had the added benefit of a clean shot since it was the only tree (granted huge) in the yard.  I learned my lesson a long time ago, so the image above was a quick shot from afar.  Never waste the moment by trying to get too close before the first shot.  Eventually, I worked my way a little closer which didn’t seem to bother them at all.  It never occurred to me before how much more sinister the juveniles look than the matures.  Guessing the juvi is a little cocky sitting next to the 2nd in charge of the skies (Owls being the top of the chain since they will actually attack and kill an eagle).   I finally moved into position and capture this stunning shot.  The full sized image is a lot better and really brings the talons out on the mature.  I’ll probably make this my background.

Eagle Watch

Follow the jump to see some more pictures we captured while we were up there.

We ended up down on Rockingham to see if there were any still hanging around down there.  There were a few, but I had to get out of the car and trek towards them for the clean shot.  I was trying to be as quiet as possible, but this one spotted me… having seen the talons on the last shots, I actually began second guessing this trekking idea.

Eagle Annoyed

Not heeding my own warnings, I spied another one and began sneaking up on it.

Eagle Back

Snap! went the twig just before I got to the desired position.  This is when I realized their beaks looked just as deadly as their talons.  This mature did not appreciate being bothered either. He ended up assessing the situation – translated – no wings, no harm and turned back to watching the Mississippi River.

Spotted by an Eagle

Although not the best shot I’ve taken, but I do like the placement of the head through the twigs.  I was playing some games trying to force the focus off the main subject to see what kind of effect that would produce.  Interesting none the less.

Eagle Eye

In closing, here the shot TWO away from the first shot at the beginning of this post.  This provides a better look at the juvi talons.

Juv Eagle Perch

But alas, there was a shot immediately after this one and right before the flight launch shot.  Looking through the viewer, I immediately new the results and proudly came back to the care to show Linda the pre-flight procedures for an eagle……

Juv Eagle Pre-flight

Yep, you guessed it… lighten the load.

I hope you enjoyed these shots as I much as did – Like I said, loving the new camera!

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