Monday, July 22, 2013

Pretty Cool

I stayed inside most of the day, still not 100%, but not horrible either.  It was pretty boring to be honest, but I didn't want to push things since I wasn't back on my "A" game yet.

Throughout the day a group of wild turkeys was parading back and forth just outside our house, along the fence line, and at one point they were so close that I decided I couldn't stand it any longer and went out to grab some shots.

Turkeys are not dumb, and when they heard me bumbling around in the bushes trying to be "quiet," they took off and ran at top speed across the field, leaving me with mostly shots of turkeys on the run....not exactly what I was hoping for.

Not to be defeated I looked up and noticed that with an impending thunderstorm there were lots of birds taking full advantage of the thermals, and the kicked up surf for fishing.

I don't know what it is about the wind, but when it is really blowing, the osprey and eagles decide it's time to come off their perches and duke it out with one another.  I noticed a mid air dog fight taking place WAY off across the field above the tree line, so I positioned my camera and started snapping.

I realized when I do this that I will likely just get shots of black dots off in the distance, but the logical part of me never wins out and I snap away like I'm going to get a shot good enough for National Geographic...every single time!

What I didn't expect when I got back in and started downloading images was that even though these would be black specks yet again, they were pretty cool tiny black specks!  In the image above, it's not an osprey and an eagle, but 2 eagles fighting over a fish.  If you look closely you will notice that the bottom bird is turned completely upside down.  What appears to be something hanging off of him is actually one of his wings and those are his talons pointed up in the air ready to take away the other eagle's fish!

We see this kind of fighting nearly every day, but it seems to ramp up a little when the winds pick up.

Eagles are tenacious birds, and when they want something, like another eagle's fish, they don't take no for an answer!

Even though the images appear to be in black and white, they are straight out of the camera, except for cropping and adding my watermark in Photoshop.  I love how graphic they look, and the stark contrast between the birds and the cloudy skies.

In the image above you can see the fish dangling from the top eagle's talons and the other eagle in hot pursuit to get to that fish.

I imagine the conversation was going a little something like...hey gimme that it's it's MINE!

And then, as often happens, the second bird finally got a nice hit in and knocked the fish right out of the other eagle's grasp.  There it is falling as the second eagle makes his move to catch it in mid air.

He or she was determined to catch their prize and went into full on dive mode.

Because I was shooting from so far away, nearly a quarter of a mile, I wasn't even sure I was capturing anything worth keeping, and it is really hard to focus once they get down to the tree line and the contrast is diminished.  So sadly, I can't tell you if the fish was ever recovered by either eagle, or if another battle ensued.

I turned and started taking pictures of flowers...and then came inside to find I had captured this battle, once I downloaded the images.

Even though these aren't the best images in the world, I love when I get shots like this.  It reminds me of how lucky I am to live in a place where one minute I think I will get pictures of wild turkeys, the next I'm shooting tiny aerialists in the sky, and then roses back here on the ground.  Pretty darned cool!

I hope your week is off to a cool start too!

P.S.  Welcome to the world Little Prince! :)


  1. oh these are gems!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° > <3

  2. Such beauty all around, Kat! Wonderful photography!

  3. Yes, very cool! I love when that happens.

  4. Great shots and glad to hear you're feeling better :D

  5. Great photos, Kat! Thanks for sharing them!

  6. Fantastic shots! Hope you continue to feel better.

  7. Love these images! I am so glad you are feeling better and ventured out! I love birdwatching. This is birdwatching at its finest! Upside down? Defying gravity? Amazing! As for the turkeys, we cannot believe the sound they make when they take flight to roost on a branch in the woods. Soooo loud and clumsy. But we love watching them

  8. Poor Kat. I'm sorry you were feeling poorly, and it's good to hear that you are on the mend.

    Darn it ... I want to know what happened to the fish.

  9. I do hope you are feeling better. Love seeing the photos. I often watch the battles between our neighborhood hawk and the bluejays. Have a wonderful Tuesday. Bonnie

  10. I think your bird images are always thoughtful and your explanations incredibly good. I love love the dragonfly images. I have been away for some days now toiling in my personal rain forest. xo, Olive

  11. Wow, what an amazing sight to see! Thanks for capturing them to share with us!

  12. Hi, Kat!
    I hope you are feeling better! Wow!! Lots of fast shooting there. Rats! Now we're all dying to know the ending.
    Take care,

  13. Wonder what it is about the wind...your aerobatic eagles are so impressive. Can't get over that one you caught completely upside-down! xo


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