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Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I was birding on Saturday June 3rd looking for an Indigo Bunting and upon my arrival to the location soaring over my head was an American Bald Eagle! That’s a big deal in Santa Clara County. Eagles have been making a comeback here for the last few years which is super exciting to birders, but there are still only a handful here.

Anyway, it flew across the pond to a grove of tall trees and perched there and looked like he/or she was settled in for a long rest.  I watched it for sometime then moved to the grassy area to photograph Western Bluebirds which I’ll be sharing soon.

Then I followed some Red-winged Blackbirds a bit then turned around to check on the Eagle and OMG! It was flying right for me!

I brought my camera up to my face in lighting speed, and fired off a burst of images following its flight path.  We made eye to camera lens contact, then it veered right and headed for the northern hills, and I lost it.  I was doing my happy dance! Isn’t that wing span somethin’?

Click on the image to see it better. WP compression isn’t working for me again. 😦  I may have to mess around with image sizes again to find something that looks good without having to click on an image.

I received my 200-500mm back from Nikon Service on Thursday, but I haven’t felt good enough to get out with it.  I hope tomorrow this bug is over being in my system so I can go out and play!

Hope you all are having a great start to your week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…




  1. Wow! Great bald eagle pictures…I have photographic book about two young bald eagles learning to fly…Near a River…Would love to get your opinion of the pictures in my book!…My website is, and my email address is

  2. This was like a miracle, Deborah! I cannot believe how that bald eagle flew towards you.
    Don’t take this wrong. . .Do you have any affinity or anyone who recently passed away? My grandpa came back to me in spirit as a cardinal.

    • It was a magical moment! No, noone near me has died recently, but I always feel as if I walked the spirit animal of those I come in close contact with when out in nature. It’s a spiritual thing. 🙂

      I would love to see a Cardinal one day. They’re so beautiful.

      • I think my cardinal experience heightened my feelings towards nature. It happened on the day my grandpa died, in 1980. I wrote a blog post and actually sent it to Guideposts but they sent me a kind letter, didn’t publish my article. It said that some believe birds are “winged messengers from heaven.” Of course, some may think I’m a bit nuts. 😉

  3. Reblogged this on Site Title.

  4. Awesome photo of the eagle flying toward you!!! Glad you have quick reflexes. 🙂

  5. Nice catch! You’re right, the BIF focus was tack sharp on the eye. Everytime the bird flies at me I get too excited and have a tough time focusing in theat split second so I started trying back button focus which seems to work but I still need more practice.

    • BBF (back button focus): Making that change
      when I started birding back in 09 was a Boon to my keeper rate.
      But, you did a great job of nailing the focus and Eagle in flight the first time you, me, and Dan went to the Elementary school to see the Adult Eagles. I wasn’t as lighting fast that time.

      I had my 300mm f/4 since my big lens the 200-500mm cannon was in the shop. It’s funny now how light the 300mm seems to me. It’s so easy to walk-around with now. 🙂 It wasn’t before I started using the 200-500mm.

  6. What a moment! We Cant Imagine.

  7. Beautiful shot Deborah! How thrilling to capture it in flight! We used to have Bald Eagle nests in some areas around Florida, but I’ve rarely seen one in flight.

    • Oh, Eagles in FL! I knew there are lots of Osprey in FL but never thought Eagles would venture that far south. How cool!

  8. WwwwwwOW! I can’t even imagine the thrill of seeing that in the wild! I’m so glad your photographer’s instinct kicked in and you got some shots of it. What a moment!

  9. It is such a proud, regal bird, isn’t it? I can’t get over the images you captured! They are starting to appear here again too and it never fails to amaze me to see our national bird just hangin’ out.

    • How exciting that they’re making a comeback there too! I long for the day that they’re just hanging out, and seeing them everyday is normal around here.

      • I think we’ll get there, too, amazingly enough. I remember when red-tailed hawks were unheard of here, and now they are quite common. It really is so exciting isn’t it? 🙂

        • Red-tailed hawks are all over here. I mostly ignore them now…unless they’re doing something really neat, like posing, or eating, or catching prey. 🙂

          It is exciting!

  10. This is an amazing shot of one of our most beloved animals. I have never seen one out in the world, and what truly draws me in is the strength that is highly visible in his wings. Absolutely amazing shot. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Judy! I’ve been fortunate to see Eagles several times, but each time is so exciting it is as if it is my first time seeing them!

  11. Wonderful! 🙂

  12. Super photo, Deborah. I can imagine your happy smile after that one!

  13. Amazing shots. I also live in Santa Clara and my husband saw a golden eagle on our back fence! It was such a thrill.

  14. Great captures! I’m so glad they are making a strong comeback too.

  15. What a wonderful capture, Deborah. Good for you being the quick-draw artist and getting that shot. He’s magnificent.

    • Thank you so much Dan! If I didn’t turn around when I did I would have missed this shot completely! It would have been another butt shot. Lord knows I’ve one too many of those. 🙂

      • The only shots I have of the eagles here are ones where they’re so far up that we’re guessing they’re eagles.

  16. Beautiful shot Deborah. I hope you are feeling better soon. Did you get an Indigo Bunting?

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