Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
I received my long lens back from service and couldn’t wait to get out and try it, but I got that bug so, didn’t go out to try it until yesterday (Sun. June 18th). I headed over to Milpitas to see if the American Bald Eagle Fledgling was out of the nest testing its wings. I arrived just before 7 A.M. I didn’t have to wait long before it started flapping its wings and hopping onto a branch outside the nest.
It sat on the branch surveying the land for a bit then turned around and did a hop/fly combo back to the nest where it tucked itself down out of sight. It remained out of sight for over an hour. As we waited the morning got hotter, and hotter. When I left just before noon, hot, sweaty, and very thirsty it was 96º degrees Fahrenheit. The high hit a record breaking 103º F! That broke the 1945 record of 99º F.
Myself and several other photographers, and birders were patiently waiting for one or both of the parents to return with food, and of course we wanted the Fledgling to come up out of the nest again, but quite a few people left as it began getting hot and there wasn’t anything to see.
Finally, the young Eagle got restless and called its parents to no avail then it began to jump and flap its wings again. It jumped way up and flew to the branch! It stayed there awhile pecking at the branch and looking around then suddenly it made a leap of faith into space and FLEW!!! Its maiden flight! A Fledgling at last!
Oh, I wish you were there to see it, to feel our anxiety and hope for success, and hear our joyous cries of delight when the young Eaglet made that leap of faith and flew to a neighboring tree!
There are quite a few images today, and the story doesn’t end here! Because there are so many images I’ll share the rest of the story another day. I hope you enjoy these first images of the young Eagle’s Maiden Flight.
Popping up to check out what’s happening…
Lemme test out my take off, and wing position. I wonder…
Ha! I’m outside of the nest! Okay, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
Okay, wings start flapping already!!
Oh, nearly there I can make it! Talons ready, tail in position…wings open…
Ta Da!!! I made it, I made it! Where’s Mom? Now, how do I get back to the nest?
Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017
more to come…