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Bald Eagle

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Relaxed Bald Eagle shows off one of its weapons

The talons on these creatures are nothing short of impressive. Getting a close look at them helps you understand why they are so effective – and deadly. When they are relaxed, eagles oftentimes will hold on to their perch with one talon then lift the other up and tuck it inside their feathers. Such was the case with this guy last month which is why you only see one. He didn’t give a hoot about me being there and was quite content and relaxed.

Bald Eagles are believed to have a grasp capable of exerting an astonishing 400psi. By comparison, the average human’s hand comes in around 20psi. Needless to say, when an eagle latches on to a rabbit, prairie dog or fish, the prey isn’t very likely to get away.

A close up look at one of the talons on a Bald Eagle. (© Tony’s Takes)

A close up look at one of the talons on a Bald Eagle. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fantastic flyby for Freedom Friday

Last weekend I was observing this beautiful lady and her mate. Things were awfully quiet for the longest time as for the most part they sat still but then they decided to try fishing in a nearby pond. Neither was successful but the female gave this absolutely fantastic sequence of her as she approached and then flew by.

This is probably one of my best in-flight Bald Eagle pics I have ever captured. The light was just about perfect and coming from the right direction as she approached and flew by. Focus is pretty much spot on showcasing the beautiful detail in the bird’s plumage. A whispy streak of clouds help to just ever so slightly break up the solid blue Colorado skies.

Have a great weekend!

A female Bald Eagle returns to her roost after a failed fishing trip. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Bald Eagle returns to her roost after a failed fishing trip. (© Tony’s Takes)

The eagle has landed!

The eagle has landed! From a couple of weeks ago and a visit I made to my favorite nest. Having just done his duty delivering a meal to mama, this guy hopped away and landed on a nearby branch. You get a good look at those impressive meat hooks that these cool raptors have. Those beautiful Colorado skies provide a nice backdrop.

A Bald Eagle prepares to grab its perch as it lands on a tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle prepares to grab its perch as it lands on a tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Bald Eagle on the hunt, returns with a meal

This was a rather fun encounter from early last month. This juvenile Bald Eagle was hanging out across the road from a small pond, clearly keeping an eye out for an opportunity to snag its breakfast. As I watched it, it focused its laser beam stare on the far side of the pond and took off at a furious pace. I captured an entire sequence of images as it launched and flew by. It’s chosen hunting ground was too far away for me to get pictures of it snagging its catch but with its meal firmly in its grasp it flew right back by me. The first image is of the raptor as it departed to hunt, the second is of it on its return trip with a small fish in its talons. Have a great weekend!

A juvenile Bald Eagle heads off to do some fishing in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Bald Eagle heads off to do some fishing in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Bald Eagle returns with a fish in its talons in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Bald Eagle returns with a fish in its talons in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

High-power launch

In looking for worthy photo subjects, sometimes you do a lot of driving for little return. Those days can be disappointing and maybe, just maybe, you get lucky at the end of your trip like I did when I found this gorgeous creature. I had spent a few hours out and on a weekend day last month and had little to show for my effort.

It was disappointing until, not 10 minutes from home, I spot this eagle on top of some very tall high tension power poles. A chance to salvage the photo day! Thankfully it worked out as the raptor gave me a fantastic launch and flyby series, this being one of the first of them as it took to the air.

A Bald Eagle takes to the skies as it launches from a high tension power pole in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle takes to the skies as it launches from a high tension power pole in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Jailbreak! A sextet of Bald Eagles leap into the air all at once

This is a pretty darned fun capture I think. These six were hanging out in this tree along the shoreline of Jackson Lake State Park on Colorado’s northeastern plains last Friday. I’m sitting on the ground just enjoying watching them when suddenly the top, adult eagle decides it is time to go. That was enough to convince the others to depart as well leading to this image of all of them as they started to leap into the air.

The action is fun but one of the coolest things about the image is that it does a nice job showing the different plumage of Bald Eagles at various ages all in one capture. The bottom left two would be between 1 and 2 years old still having the dark heads they were born with. The bottom right two are about 3 years old and getting their white heads and yellow beaks. The upper two are full adults, showcasing the distinctive plumage that we are all familiar with on these majestic raptors.

Six Bald Eagles leap into the air at once at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Six Bald Eagles leap into the air at once at Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Peter Cottontail for breakfast

Peter Cottontail for breakfast. 😉 I don’t normally shoot video but this was a good opportunity. This eagle had caught the rabbit and was taking his time eating it and there are only so many pictures of that you can take before it gets repetitive. 😉 I switched to video for a bit, allowing you to see the action as he dined. Twice you will see a Red-tailed Hawk buzz the eagle (once behind, then once in the foreground). It clearly was hoping to join the dinner table.

Bringing home the grass

Yes, we are in Colorado, but no, not THAT kind of grass. 😉 This male Bald Eagle is quite meticulous about keeping up the home and making sure his bride is happy. This was his second load of nesting material for the day, just a day in the life I reckon.

A male Bald Eagle returns to its nest with some grass firmly in its grasp. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Bald Eagle returns to its nest with some grass firmly in its grasp. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bald Eagle makes a very close flyby

A prime example of how it is impossible to predict wildlife. This pretty lady caught me by total surprise. I was observing her and her mate when she launched at an angle away from me but then inexplicably turned right at me flying 20 feet over my head. Thankfully, my camera managed to keep up although I was a bit surprised as normally they would not choose to come so close. I have no doubt that she and her hubby were having a good laugh back at the nest that evening about the photographer she startled. 😀

A female Bald Eagle makes an aggressive flight approach. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Bald Eagle makes an aggressive flight approach. (© Tony’s Takes)

“Get off my nest!”

Mama was not too happy to discover the neighboring Magpies were stealing sticks from her nest. Never could get both birds in the same frame but it was pretty funny to watch as she was definitely not happy to have the little ones taking from her home. 😉

A female Bald Eagle takes notice of a Magpie stealing sticks out of her nest.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Bald Eagle takes notice of a Magpie stealing sticks out of her nest. (© Tony’s Takes)

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