Wild Wednesday 22/52 American Bald Eagles

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last year we had a pair of American Bald Eagles make a nest in a Redwood tree which is located in the front yard of an Elementary School right here in Silicon Valley. It was very exciting news.  We hoped they’d return this year. Not only did they return to their nest they’ve had two chicks!

Myself and several friends had made a couple of trips over to see and photograph them, 2 weeks ago we met there again.  When I pulled up there were many photographers there, and they were quickly changing positions, and pointing up, one friend already there motioned me to hurry.  There was something exciting happening.  I quickly parked, got out of the car then went to get my camera out of the back of my car. The Female was coming in and she had dinner!  I had to act fast she was flying low, fast, and being dogged by crows who squawked at her the whole time.

There was a row of trees blocking my view, so I ducked down, and sans tripod got her in my viewfinder and fired off three rapid shots then I lost her in the trees. Since I was hand-holding my 200-500mm lens  I wobble all over the place and my position of ducking and shooting wasn’t stable. I didn’t have much hope for having a decent shot. My rig weighs just a smidge under 8 pounds (4kg). I’ve never had any arm strength. 😥 Two of the images were nothing but a blurry blob in the frame, but one was worth saving for myself. It’s not print quality, but I thought I show you it anyway because you can tell what birds they are, and what’s happening.

Mama Eagle scored a whole duck for dinner. A whole duck! There were 3 crows dogging her, but I only got one in the frame with her. See the duck?

Milpitas Eagle Famale with Kill and Crow Chaser

Mama stayed near the nest watching the Eaglets eat for sometime, and the Eaglets would pop their heads up from time to time looking for their parents.

American Bald Eagle Chicks

Mama decided it was time for another flight.  I photographed her just as she left the branch she was on.  I love this shot! Her wings are enormous!  I barely fit all of her in my frame.

American Bald Eagle Adult Female

Dad was nearby on a branch higher up keeping watch, but after Mama left and the chicks were fed he thought it was safe for him to come down and clean off his beak.

He cleaned it by rubbing and wiping it on that branch.  Under his back end below the branch is the nest. You can just make out a chick in there.  Dad has lost all his beautiful white tail feathers!  I hope they grow back.

American Bald Eagle Adult Male

We stayed watching and photographing them until sundown when we lost the good light. I have more images I want to share of the adults, but again I’ll wait for a rainy day, by then I may a few of the Chicks as Fledglings.

Pets Update:  I finally took a photo of Box, and someone cough! (Dan) reminded me that I haven’t shared a photo of Diva Dog in sometime.  Imagonna fix that for ya. 🙂 I had Yosemite Sam pop into my head when I heard that last sentence in my head. 😜

Box is still shy:  He loves to hide in the back corners, and he loves his hay bag. I got him at a good time munching on hay.

Box the Guinea Pig

 

…and for Dan, Diva Dog- Yesterday was in the 80’s and today is supposed to be 89°F.  Early summer?  When it’s hot she likes to lay on the cool wood floor in the entry hall, or on our bathroom floor’s Travertine tiles.  She wouldn’t pose for me. Too hot! I’m sorry you can’t see her cute neckerchief.

Diva Dog Staying Cool

It’s supposed to cool down mid week. I hope you’re not too hot or cold,  and I hope you’re all having a good week, and great day!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

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Pioneer Cabin Tunnel Tree

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I woke up yesterday morning Jan.9, 2017 to read that the Pioneer Cabin Tunnel Tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Northern California had fallen over on Sunday Jan.8, 2017. What a sad event to the Jan.2017 storm.

I first visited that tree as and others like it when I was a girl with my family, and later when all grown up, married with children of my own I took my children there to see the wonderful Big Trees.

They are Sequoias and Redwoods.

The Pioneer Cabin Tunnel Tree is was over 1,000 years old and still living before it toppled on Sunday.  137 years ago before the land was a state park the owners cut a tunnel out of the tree. I suppose a cabin fit in there at one time or could have hence the name.  Once long ago visitors could drive through it. Today it’s a hiking/walking trail only.  It was located on the North Grove trail in the park; an easy, flat hike of about 1.5 mile loop.

I was there last in June 2011 to photograph the Dogwoods in bloom (see that post here)

When I got to the Pioneer Cabin Tunnel Tree I made a self portrait in the tree tunnel. A rare thing, but today I’m so glad I did b/c I can’t recall making an image of my kids in the tunnel tree. My photos and albums are boxed up in the garage somewhere. I still haven’t unpacked everything from the remodel, and the photos my Mom had of us kids in it are long gone. Lost in all the moves, or the divorce? Sadly, no one can find them.

Deborah at the Pioneer Cabin Tree

Giant Sequoias and Redwoods have a shallow root system and are so tall they are susceptible to strong winds is what I read.

A sad day. This tree will be missed.

To see the felled tree and read one newspapers account of it click here.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 17-35mm @17mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…