American Bald Eagle & Me

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…


33 thoughts on “American Bald Eagle & Me

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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. 😉

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

      1. 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? 🙂

    1. 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. 🙂

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