Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin River’

Double Bald Eagle- February 15, 2014 - 2064

Few people I know think of “Orange”** when they think “bald eagles” and yet there they were — two of them orange from the cloud-filtered sun. I photographed them as they cavorted along the Wisconsin River this winter, but I took hundreds of photos of the bald eagles along the river and didn’t even look at this one for more than a month after it was taken. When I did, I did a double take. Not only did I have orange bald eagles but I had two of them, but with only one head. While a bit unusual, I thought viewers of the A Word a Week Photograph Challenge: Orange might enjoy this date with nature.

** To be clear, the beak and claws of mature bald eagles are a fairly bright orange and if you happen to be focusing your attention on either or both of these parts of a mature bald eagle, orange may indeed leap to mind.

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Bald Eagles Pair

These two bald eagles appear to be very close, not only aerodynamically but perhaps in other ways as well, as they fly near each other In the Air over the Wisconsin River

I have two contributions to this week’ s Weekly Photo Challenge: Split Second Story. My first involves the immature Bald Eagle shown here and the split second is a very small fraction of one as the eagle is poised to strike the water hoping to catch its primary food source, a fish. This eagle was successful but somewhere between 80%-90% of such efforts are not.

Bald Eagles - January 10, 2014 - 235

Followers of my blog may remember that I spent some time this past winter photographing the bald eagles along the Wisconsin River in Prairie du Sac. This may sound crazy, but I took so many photos that I am still working my way through ones that I took nearly two months ago. In part this clearly show how remarkably inefficient I am at this task but in part it is because I am almost as inefficient at other parts of my life. One good thing about this is, at least from this particular perspective, that I lead a balanced life. (Is there an emoticon for a wry smile? If yes, consider it inserted here.)

Another good thing about my review is that I continue to discover some pretty interesting photos. One such is the attached “double eagle” photo. These two eagles spent quite a while flying together and at this point came close to becoming one (no Photoshop here).  It is hard to tell, but the head of the eagle that is shown is that of the lower eagle. The eagle on top is looking down and almost certainly to the left (if it was turned right, I think you would see more of its head from this angle). You can see just a touch of the white neck feathers of the eagle on top reinforcing the fact that it is lower eagle’s head you are viewing.

 

The word “Contrast” is this Week’s Word a Week Photo Challenge. My photo is of a bald eagle flying along the Wisconsin River. The silhouette of the eagle contrasts with the shimmering waters of the Wisconsin River and is my entry for this week’s challenge.

 

Bald Eagles - February 16, 2014 - 2558

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Threshold. For me, the threshold is in a sense the end of the build up to the beginning. Graduation days are widely recognized thresholds. The end of the prelude and particularly its conclusion is a threshold to the 1st movement of an opera. While thresholds can hover before life changing moments, they can also wait patiently like the puppy on the doorstep of Krista’s wonderful photo.

My threshold is not so placid. This photo is of the moment before a bald eagle strikes the water in search of a meal. It is a threshold for both the eagle and the fish that swims unaware of any pending danger just below the surface of the Wisconsin River. Eagle’s are generally successful between 10-20% of each attempt at catching a meal so while this is definitely a threshold it more likely to be a happy one for the fish than the eagle.

Moment Before the Strike

Word of Warning: For those who are unusually squeamish the third photo in my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes might be a little much.

I have been spending time with the bald eagles that are wintering along the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac. The bald eagles’ days encompass a variety of cycles. One of these is the feeding cycle — hunting, catching and eating enough to keep them alive. The eagles’ prey is generally fish. The three shots that follow show a bald eagle as it captures a fish from the Wisconsin River, brings the fish back to a safe place in a tree along the river and eats it.

The Capture

Bald Eagles - January 10, 2014 - 68-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit

The Return

Bald Eagle Returns to Tree With Fish - January 10, 2014 - 43

The dinner

Bald Eagle Feeding - 43