Sorry about my long absence from blogland. I've been having too much fun enjoying my retirement freedom! I'd rather be skiing or hiking than sitting at the computer recapping my adventures. So everyone knows I haven't totally disappeared, here's a quick post about an eagles nest I had the good fortune to photograph last week.
|Eagle watching her nest (can you spot the eaglet?)|
It's well known that every year a pair of bald eagles nest in a lone pine tree at Central Oregon's Smith Rock State Park. In late March their babies are born. My neighbor Cheri has been travelling here annually to photograph the young eaglets.
Last week I happened to be in Bend for a week of skiing. Taking a break from the slopes due to high winds, I met Cheri and her friend at Smith Rock one day to check out the eagles nest.
|Mama feeding her eaglets|
I'd recently purchased a new camera - the Canon R6. And I was also lucky enough to score a used 800mm RF lens. Time to put my new equipment to work!
We three ladies set up on the cliff rim overlooking the nest. At first, the mother eagle (I think it was the mother anyway) just sat near the nest and we only got brief glimpses of the eaglet's heads peeking out. But after a half hour, the mother flew away, and returned shortly with a squirrel in her talons. Then the action began!
|Feeding time for Junior|
We watched mesmerized as the mother eagle tore up her catch and began offering pieces of it to her two eaglets. The eaglets, heeding the call of the dinner bell, emerged from the nest and we could see their bodies fully. The two babies jockeyed for their mother's beak, opening up their mouths in preparation to be fed. It was an amazing sight to see.
|"Hey, I want some of that!"|
The little eaglet's clumsy moves were fun to watch. They were about 4 weeks old at the time, with oversized beaks and feet in proportion to their fuzzy gray bodies. The eaglets jostled for feeding position, pecked at each other, and tried to grab food from their sibling. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours watching their antics. And my new camera setup? As you can see, it worked fabulously.
|Iconic Smith Rock SP view|
Eagle watching done, of course I couldn't leave Smith Rock State Park without capturing a few images of it's stunning scenery. A great morning well spent in one of Oregon's crown jewels.
Here's a great video that local photographer George Lepp made of the Smith Rock Eagles Nest: Smith Rock Eagles Nest video.