Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Spring Babies!

Besides producing lovely blooms, spring is also a time when many animals bear their young. February starts with the song of birds trying to attract a mate, and by April lots of babies begin to appear in the local parks and nature areas.

Three baby eaglets!

My neighbor and photo-mentor Cheri knew of an eagle's nest at a state park in Central Oregon.  A pair of bald eagles return here every year to breed and rear their young.  Hearing that the couple had recently hatched three eaglets, we both wanted to go and check it out.

Protecting her baby

Cheri and I got up really early one April morning for the 3 hour drive.  Luckily, the weather was good and we arrived in no time.  Then we walked a short distance from the parking lot to where we could see the nest.

Feeding the little guys

Although the nest is high in a tree, it can be viewed at eye level from the rim of an adjacent cliff.


Not long after our arrival, one of the parents flew into the nest bearing a recently killed animal.  The other adult eagle that had been sitting at the nest (I assumed it was the mother) immediately began tearing apart the critter and feeding to to her young.

The best photo I got of all three eaglets

Three tiny, gray fluffy heads popped up from the nest.  One eaglet was a bit larger than the others.  I learned that the first egg had hatched a little over a week ago, the second three days later, and the third three days after that.  So one of the eaglets was practically brand new!

A mother's love

It was sweet to watch the mother eagle feed and nurture her babies.  We stayed for about three hours, before the action died down.  A very special morning indeed!  (A huge thanks for Cheri for driving the entire way there and back.)

Mama hummingbird feeding her baby

Of course, eaglets are not the only babies around my home.  A nearby park that features a small lake (affectionally nicknamed "the duck pond") is always a good place to spot goslings and ducklings in the spring.

Gosling flapping its tiny wings

When I'm walking around the "duck pond," my camera with its huge zoom lens always attracts attention.  Many times people will see my camera setup and generously share their bird sightings.  One April morning a man who had noticed my big white lens told me of a hummingbird nest he'd spotted in a nearby tree.  The guy took me over to the tree and pointed to a tiny nest hidden in a branch overhanging the paved pathway.

Gosling eating

As the man and I were peering at this sweet, moss-lined home, who should fly in but the mother hummer!  A wee orange beak rose from the nest and I witnessed the mama hummingbird feeding her young.  Lucky for me, I already had my camera focused and was able to capture this sweet moment.

Goose family going for a swim

After watching the mother hummer for a bit, she finally flew away in search of more food for her  baby.  I tore myself away and continued my walk around the pond.  Baby goslings were everywhere and I spent the remainder of the morning capturing hundreds of images of these cute, fluffy youngsters.

Goofy gosling

There were three goose families with young.  After feeding on shore for a bit, all three groups headed towards the water for a swim.  The sun came out and I was able to get some great shots of the goslings gliding through the water with their folks.

Tiny duckling

There's another nature area within walking distance my house.  When my hubby works from home, he sometimes walks there during his lunch break.  The same day my hubby returned from his outing to report he'd spotted a brood of ducklings in the park.  Of course, I quickly grabbed my camera and headed over there.

Beating a hasty retreat

Sure enough, I found the mother and ducklings swimming around a small stream lined with tall grasses.  Unfortunately for me, once mama duck saw my huge zoom lens, she hustled her babies into the grass-lined shore, hiding them from my sight.  I was able to grab just a few good images before the ducklings disappeared.

"Here we come!"

A couple of weeks later, I was back at the duck pond with my camera.  There were more goslings, some that had grown out of their cute, fluffy stage and another brood of newborns.  Hearing some pitiful-sounding peeping, I noticed two ducklings swimming by themselves in the middle of the pond.  It appeared they'd become separated from their family.  I was able to get some photos of these adorable little guys, but I was concerned that if they didn't soon find their family, these ducklings would become food for a predator.  (I know it's the "circle of life" and all, but sadly, this happens much more frequently than I'd like to admit.)

This little guy lost his mother

It was another good spring of baby bird photography.  I'm lucky to have the plethora of parks and natural areas nearby.  Not only flowers, spring brings a lot of great photography subjects to my area!


  1. Great shots of the eagle nest.

  2. So cute! How neat that the eaglets were easily visible!

  3. Pretty spectacular pictures of the eagles and eaglets!

  4. Thank you, Linda, these wonderful images have filled me with joy. 'Mother love' captured so beautifully.
    Your goslings made me recall our visit to Portland. We watched Mum and Dad escort some 15 large chicks along the river bank and down into the water. There was no haste on this occasion.

  5. How wonderful to see the eaglets and the hummer's nest. Your images are wonderful!

  6. What an awesome week! As much as I like the eagle pictures, that gosling running and flapping it's tiny wings is beyond cute!

  7. Oh great photo of The Hummingbird!!


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