Fighting Greedy Rotten Eagles

Fighting Greedy Rotten Eagles

Wha, the American Bald Eagles are what?  Oh you bet they are.  They are not the regal, nobel, kings of birdom that we all desire them to be.  I watched, day after day, these gorgeous and grand birds of our fantasy steal from and claw at each other rather than find their own honest meal.  And I got the proof in pictures above.

For more on how and where I took these pictures, check out my other Eagle blog pieces here:

I like watching nature express its nature.  It is truth.  It seems our human nature is to make birds, presidents, men who wear robes with cool headgear, better than they are.  The truth of our nature is how we define it.  But this time, I have pictures.  Darn the truth.  Darn our nature.  Hmm….  I think I better stop now.

Ben Franklin on the Eagle (and Turkey)

I will let Mr. Franklin describe the Eagle in his own words:

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perch’d on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk [Osprey]; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. …… Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District……. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. Eagles have been found in all Countries, but the Turkey was peculiar to ours, ……… He is besides, tho’ a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

-Benjamin Franklin, January 26, 1784

Ok Ben, I got it.  But they sure are cool to watch.  When they steal, they steal good.  A thieving Eagle will fly, literally, upside down and grab a fish from underneath another.  In one sequence above, one Eagle loses air speed, stalls, and splashes stupidly into the river.

Hero or hellion, I do feel privileged to see them in their natural environment serving their nature.  I have tons more fighting Eagle pics and will post them another day.  Stay tuned.

Why the poor picture quality?

These pics do not have the best technical quality because of the following:

  1. I am an amateur (cut me a break!)
  2. They are really deep, 100% crops as the birds were really far away
  3. I was just learning how to set exposure for this very difficult scene, birds in the sky
  4. I am using a 1.4x teleconverter and it fuzzes up the pic a bit

So, more to learn; I know I can do better.

The Equipment:

  • Canon 5D MkII
  • Canon 500mm L f/4.0 IS
  • Canon EF 1.4x II extender (teleconverter)
  • Gitzo 3530LS carbon fiber tripod
  • Wimberley II gimbal head
  • LightRoom 5.3

Location Types: Conowingo Dam. Galleries: Birds and Eagle. Tags: 500mm, 5D Mk II, Gitzo Wimberly, and teleconverter.

2 Responses to “Fighting Greedy Rotten Eagles”

  1. Susan DeBonis Combine March 13, 2014 9:07 pm #

    Well Mr. Ben Franklin must’ve forgotten how America was stolen from the poor Indians . . . LOL, sounds like a perfect fit for our govt., and they haven’t change since. Love the pics; you are such a Master at photography!!!

  2. Mark Pritchard March 15, 2014 12:34 pm #

    Bruce: You sound like me — the more I shoot the pickier I get and the more I complain about the quality of many shots. Hey — if I declared everything “perfect” I’d stop learning and be delusional at the same time. With that said — WOW! Eagle dogfights!!. I knew gulls did that, but they are amateurs. I broadly shared these incredible shots. Thank you, and keep up the great work.

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