Saturday, April 26, 2014

BALD EAGLE MOTHER, HER BABIES AND A BAPTISM

I studied the owners manual for my camera last night to see if I could find any remedies for the harsh back lighting caused by bright sky because I'm tired of sub-par eagle shots.  The sun was bright today and the eagles were certainly back-lighted as usual. As soon as I talked to the fishermen wading in the water below me I would drive to that part of the river and photograph the eagles.  I couldn't talk to the anglers until the baptism was over.  Yep - baptism.  Gotta respect the baptism.



Notice the guys fishing out in the river.  I never pegged the tailrace of Cherokee Dam for a religious piece of water.  I got my work done here and drove to the next area where anglers hang out.  The eagle nest is about an eighth mile from the river.
I adjusted the white balance on the camera and selected a different picture setting.  I took a lot of shots and no two are identical but they show the eagle in slightly different poses.  One of the babies can be seen in a couple shots.  Look at what you want and bypass the rest.  I just love eagles and get carried away sometimes.
The female bald eagle was in the shade on a limb adjacent to the nest.  

And then Junior popped up.
The baby was staying low in the nest out of the sun.  Remember;  there are two babies in there.  The bald eagle on the nest right now is the female.





Then one of the babies stuck his wing out of the nest.  They are getting very big.  Look at that wing.


I selected a Landscape picture setting over the standard picture setting because the Landscape setting enhances the foliage shots and produces more vivid colors.  And - the white balance setting is more flexible.  All these shots are much better than the ones from yesterday.
 I love these two shots of the adult as they are unique.
Here's Junior again:


 The shot of Junior below is my favorite.



Junior's head popped up just when I pushed the shutter button.




That was my afternoon.  I'm happy with the pictures and I learned a lot about overcoming back-lighting, although I doubt it can be totally controlled but I'm satisfied with these shots.  I'll keep working on it..  The babies will be jumping up and down on the thick limbs up there in that tree before long and I'll get the action.  I'm missing the baby ducks, otters and beavers which should be on Calderwood Lake as well as the Holston River right now.  I got to get it in gear.  And, I have another surprise which I'll save till later.

I may have to take Happy to the doctor tomorrow as she is acting out of character over the past week.  She's been breathing as if her intake is restricted and makes a wheezing sound.  It's not all the time but often enough to make me concerned.  She isn't jumping about and licking my hand all the time either.  I took her with me in the truck tonight and she was laying with her muzzle on my knee when she suddenly yelped loudly, sat up and stared at me with a "deer in the headlight" look on her face.  Scared me to death.  I called the vet when I got home and she said it doesn't sound like anything life threatening as long as she holds her head up, eats, and sleeps comfortably.  I told the vet "thanks" and I'd evaluate her overnight and I'd call on Sunday if I thought I needed to bring her in.  The vet I have is the bestest of the best.